That Cam Raker '19 has a competitive edge comes as no surprise to King sports fans. A standout hockey player, he also excels in soccer, tennis, and lacrosse. What is less known is his prowess in math. Despite his on-field success, it is in the math department that Cam might shine brightest.
"Math is interesting, it makes sense," Cam said, adding that he prefers STEM classes to the humanities. "Things that are math-based are not subjective. There is a right answer and a wrong answer, it is black and white, and I like that it is definitive and that it all makes sense and connects."
Cam's passion for the subject was evident in his third year on the Math Team when he did the rare, if not impossible, and earned a perfect score in the statewide competition. To put into perspective just how incredible such a feat is, consider that 200 students compete and only five got a perfect score. Cam was the first King student to ever receive a perfect score.
"I had a good feeling about how I did," he said of the competition as he was waiting for the scores to be tallied. "I felt confident about my answers."
Dr. Victoria Khiznichenko (Dr. K), Chair of the Mathematics Department, has been advising the team since 1999. Her enthusiasm for his ability was evident when he garnered the perfect score. "I started cheering and shouting and I ran to get my camera, and then all of the kids on the team started cheering and shouting. It was incredible."
Despite his evident achievements, Cam is modest, a characteristic that makes him a great teammate. "He is rare in that he has this excellent understanding of mathematics," said Dr. K, "but he is humble and therefore fellow students look to him for help in understanding the subject. He is very supportive of his teammates. These qualities were key in choosing him to serve as co-captain of the math team for 2018-2019."
Cam has one more year at King before heading off to college where he is not yet sure what his major will be. "There are three things I will consider once I start to hone in on a major," he said. "Number one, I want to enjoy it. I love the quote that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. I want to choose a major that I enjoy. Number two, I want to be good at it. And thirdly, I want there to be jobs in the field I choose."
"Cam is a very natural mathematician," said Dr. K. "He thinks outside of the box and makes connections between math and science with ease. I believe he will fly very, very, very high in anything he decides to do."