Victoria Nguyen | firstname.lastname@example.org | June 6, 2018
In Spring 2015, the d.tech robotics team had a problem. Its mentors strongly felt that the team could not compete in the world championships in St. Louis, due to the lack of funds. A few outspoken members of the team felt that they should go. Thomas Weese, a sophomore at the time, took it upon himself to speak out for the team. He fought passionately by staying late numerous times, lobbying with the mentors to convince them that Team 5940 should compete. Ultimately, Weese won that debate. The team went to St. Louis, and it was a huge success. They placed 5th place of 65 teams.
The team was able to fund the trip, and bonded closely. On the first night, “My roomates and I stayed up late and didn’t really sleep until 4:30 in the morning. We did not do anything illegal,” says team member Bradley Kishiyama, “but it was a ton of fun.”
Now Weese is using his passion for change to benefit d.tech as a whole. For the first time in Design Tech history, the school held an election to decide which student would represent the student community. Weese won by a thin margin. As the newly elected student representative, Weese holds many responsibilities including gathering student input and suggestions, discussing issues during staff meetings, and encouraging other students to voice their opinions.
“I chose to run for student rep because, given how outspoken I was about school policy and development, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring my thoughts and the thoughts of all other students to the staff,” says Weese. “I hear from tons of students who have great ideas, but didn’t know the proper channels to make it a reality.”
Weese loves to be involved into anything leadership related. For example, Weese co-taught a Design Lab class with math teacher, Freedom Cheteni. Senior Tiffany Bynum says, “It was really fun having him there, because he was more of our age and understood our intentions” Last Intersession, he taught a Level 1 Design Lab class with fell junior, Asa Bensaid.
Weese has a fearlessness that makes him unafraid of confrontation. At times, this can be a strength, and other times, it can cause conflict. When Emily Hom, senior and Editor in Chief of the Dragon, suggested some mistakes that could be improved when editing his article, he would not budge. “Thomas just never accepted any of my edits,” she says. Junior Kathy Wang recalled a time in publications class where Weese was firmly debating that Macs were better than iPhones. “I didn’t mean to trigger him,” Wang said. Despite these instances, it is also this headstrong personality that allows him to be passionate about and motivated to pursue what he believes in.
Staff also recognize his distinctive personality. Wayne Brock, engineering teacher and robotics team leader, says he would describe Thomas as “enthusiastic” because he is the vocal component of the team. Executive Director Dr. Ken Montgomery says that Weese is “dedicated and dragonish” because Weese has demonstrated commitment for the election. Both Montgomery and Brock showed admiration when discussing Weese.
Weese’s personality and bravery allows him to express his opinions. Because of this, he is able to use his communication skills to make a difference at d.tech. Students and staff look forward to what improvements Weese will make at d.tech in the future as the new student rep.