Pelican junior also an accomplished musician, pianist
Mathematics is serious business for Pelican Rapids High School student Gavin Haugrud.
A member of the school’s competitive math team, coached by teacher Lisa Petznick, Haugrud just returned from an All-State Math team training session May 5 at Augsburg College in the Twin Cities. It was his second session, the first in April.
“My interest in mathematics has been a part of me since I was very young. The amount of sense it made, the profound, utterly pure logical thinking, and the great things we could accomplish with math were all huge factors in my interest,” stated Haugrud. “I believe that mathematics is the manifestation of a human’s need for absolute, unbiased and unadulterated reasoning and order.”
In recognition of his outstanding achievements in mathematics league during the 2017-18 school year, Haugrud has been honored among the top mathematicians in the state.
He accepted the invitation to train for the All-State Math Team, giving him the opportunity to train with Minnesota’s top math coaches.
At the end of training the coaches will select the All-State team which will compete at one of four American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) competitions in the nation.
“This is a huge honor, but also a big commitment,” said Petznick. “The majority of the All-State team consists of students from the Cities whose primary focus is math. It’s impressive when students from small schools are still competitive with Minnesota’s elite mathematicians.”
Haugrud is a product of a school mathematics program with a solid reputation, dating back decades.
Previous All State nominations from PRHS, in the past several years, were Guillermo Rosiles and Logan Knorr. Both earned first place in the region for Minnesota State High School Mathematics League, and competed well at the state tournament.
Gavin has not yet competed in the state tournament, so it was a pleasant surprise when the state coach contacted the school to recruit him, noted Petznick.
There was another training session this past Saturday at Augsburg College in the Twin Cities.
The significant event coming up for the all-state math team is taking part in the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) competition, which will be held at the University of Iowa.
“It isn’t certain that I will make the team, but I’m of interest enough to the Executive Board of the Minnesota State High School Mathematics League that I was invited to compete for the remaining spots on the team,” said Haugrud. “On May 19, I have an additional training session if I am accepted onto the team. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity, regardless if I make the team or not.”
Haugrud said he has “no doubt” that he will continue an education and career path with math, probably something in the engineering field.
“I am extremely interested in aerospace, another interest of mine that has stuck with me since I was very young,” said Haugrud.
The Pelican Rapids High School junior has also been active in music, in the bands and in theater musicals.
“Although I do not plan to study music after high school, my personal pursuit of piano studies is something I never expect to die off,” said Haugrud.
He has been taking lessons from Dr. Hershberger of Concordia. His evenings after school consist of approximately 2 hours of piano practice on average, with weekends consisting of about 3-4 hours of practice.
”Music is very important to me, and I find it remarkably therapeutic,” said Haugrud.