All-star Ace shares academic success

“Being a good student means you set goals for yourself and you achieve those goals. Studying and having good organization habits will help you get there,” senior Ace Oubaha said.

On the night of Sept. 21, Oubaha was recognized by the school as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Because of his success on the PSAT, Oubaha has the opportunity to win up to $2,500 in scholarship money for college. He shares his secrets to success on doing well on the exams as well as being a successful student overall.

“Honestly, the biggest two things you could do for yourself is get a good night’s sleep the entire week. Don’t think you can stay up cramming all week and then sleep well the day before and expect to do well. That’s not how sleep works. Eat a good breakfast as well; these are the little thing that make a big difference in your performance,” Oubaha said.

While it is hard to predict what exactly might come up on the test, Oubaha still suggests students take the time to prepare.

“I drilled through practice tests every night the week before; practicing that specific test is a very good way to score well,” Oubaha said.

Ace’s Take on Education

Education can influence someone’s life; with the millennial generation pouring in, the love to learn has not caught on.

“I don’t think the way we see education has changed that dramatically. The real issue is that we don’t have a view of education. We look at other countries like Japan and China, and education is revered. Teachers are revered over there. Students don’t value a good education and learning what could be useful for the rest of their lives, and so we have a culture where schooling is something that you’re forced to go into instead of this great opportunity you will never get again, which it is,” Oubaha added.

Oubaha also discusses further on how students should seize opportunities that come their way.

“I have many good opportunities; if I don’t do well, it is a problem because I have the ability to do so. Not performing to the best of my ability would be like letting myself down,” Oubaha said.

Because the school has become so large, it can be difficult for students to get those opportunities and really use their resources.

“Students don’t see education as this wonderful opportunity because they have been pushed out of the system right now. Teachers are so overwhelmed with the amount of students. Students feel alienated from the system and feel like what they are doing isn’t valuable,” Oubaha commented.

Outside the Classroom

There are a plethora of extracurriculars and opportunities to get students involved, and each over a specific trait.

“Robotics is all student run. It teaches you to design, build, and test product with very limited time and resources and fundraise what you don’t have. It’s a good way to learn life skills. Math League emphasizes problem solving. It teaches you to stop, step back, and redo your thinking. Debate and Speech helps you be a better thinker; you’re forced to justify everything you believe in and can express ideas better. GSA is something more people should be doing because it’s a very serious issue in the school. There is so much to get involved in,” Oubaha explained.

Oubaha also worries for the academic environment of the school, as it has developed into more of a competition between students due to the scarcity of jobs and limited spacing of colleges.

“It can become competitive due to the way school has been set up, especially when teachers curve their test to the top score. The high school should be much more of a place where one feels comfortable learning and asking questions instead of worrying of not being at the same level as everyone else,” Oubaha said.

I have many good opportunities; if I don’t do well, it is a problem because I have the ability to do so. Not performing to the best of my ability would be like letting myself down.”

— Ace Oubaha

The Word on the Street

Ace’s sister, sophomore Sophie Oubaha, shares how she perceives her big brother.

“Ace is really a smart and driven individual who is willing and wanting to succeed. He’ll always try to do his best in class. Once you hit senior year, a lot of people stop caring as much; he still is trying to get those good grades so he can get accepted into the best college he can,” S. Oubaha said.

Sophie acknowledged it could be difficult at times to see each other because of their conflicting schedules.

“We’re both pretty busy, so we don’t see each other often. We both do a ton of after school activities that overlap. When we do see each other, we argue like siblings do, but we generally get along pretty well. I get along with his friends pretty well, and I wouldn’t describe him as embarrassing,” S. Oubaha said.

Even with limited time to interact, Sophie still holds dear the memories of Ace.

“I remember we were in the car driving back from my grandma’s house, which was about a five hour drive. Him [Ace] and my dad were having the weirdest argument: if you could have the machine that could predict all the different variables in the universe, could you predict the future? They just argued about it for three hours. That’s really what Ace is about: he likes to think about things that maybe other people wouldn’t realize,” S. Oubaha explained.

Junior Maia Carter, who is also in the Math League with Ace, sees Ace as not only a valuable team member but also a role model.

“Not only is he naturally brilliant, he’s hardworking and involved in almost all aspects of the school between, Debate, Math League, and Robotics. With that amount of talent and zeal, one would think Ace would be egotistical, but he is far from that. He is super friendly and easy to engage in conversation. It makes him really easy to look up to,” Maia explains.

Mike Kaul, a history and psychology teacher, reminisces to when Ace was a student in his A.P. U.S. History class.

“He is curious, inquisitive, and always wants to seek greater understanding. He never put his hand down. I think when he finds something that stirs his passion and creativity,  he is going to do something great,” Kaul said.

Blessings and New Beginnings

Ace Oubaha does not claim all the fortune to himself, however; there are several people in his corner he would like to thank.

“My parents have been ridiculously supportive and make sure I stay on track. I also have to thank my teachers, who have been wonderful and amazing over the years, and I wouldn’t be who or where I am without them. But the people who supported me the most are my friends; having a place where you could just relax, be yourself, have an environment about putting up a front. It’s the main reason why I’m here,” Oubaha said.

As a senior, Oubaha has his life ahead of him. However, that did not stop him from stepping up to the plate early ahead in order to achieve success.

“As life progresses, you figure out a lot of things. I still haven’t decided on my career yet, so I’m hoping to get more experience so I can decide what to and what I enjoy. Before tenth grade, school work was just busy work to get things out of the way and get back to real life. Once you hit tenth grade, you realize that this is a significant amount of work and you can’t spend your time goofing off anymore,” Oubaha said.