Pratyush Venkatakrishnan

Pratyush Venkatakrishnan
Elementary School: Tobin Montessori
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Major: Computer science and Mathematics
Career Aspiration: Undecided

Favorite subject at CRLS
AP Chemistry with Dr. Farrar

Why is it your favorite subject?
This is probably the most rigorous class I have taken at CRLS, and I am very grateful to Dr. Farrar for challenging me as well as giving me a great experience that not only sparked and answered my curiosity in chemistry, but also instilled valuable habits of mind for further coursework in any field.

Favorite CRLS Staff Person
See below

What makes that staff person so special?

This is a very difficult question for me, as I have had many great teachers during my time at CRLS. However, three teachers stand out as having been especially influential in my high school experience: Mr. Benson, Madame Bhih, and Ms. Watson.

I have greatly enjoyed being in Mr. Benson's classes for four semesters. His love for math is infectious, and his teaching is very responsive to students' needs. I also always appreciate his sense of humor and being able to strike up a conversation with him on a wide variety of topics.

When I entered Madame Bhih's French 5 class, I was very unsure of my abilities, having skipped French 4 and then having class remotely due to the pandemic. However, she quickly made me feel comfortable and confident, not only improving my French but also improving my confidence and also being a very supportive presence outside of the classroom.

Even though I have never been a student in any of her classes, I cannot imagine my time at CRLS without Ms. Watson. She has been much more than a great advisor for Math Club, always being there to talk about math or life or anything else, and granting me many opportunities to grow as a student and as a person.

I would also like to thank all of the other amazing teachers who have helped me in countless ways over the years, including but not limited to (in alphabetical order) Dr. Farrar, Ms. Labaze, Dr. Lam, Mr. Scott, and Ms. Umbro, as well as Dr. Abrams, Mr. Goldman, and Ms. Yu, who are no longer at CRLS.

I am also very grateful to have had such wonderful guidance counselors as Mr. Roldan and Mr. Tubinis, who were always there for me and patiently answered every one of my questions and supported me at every step of my journey at CRLS.

Extracurricular activities, clubs, school-related activities

At CRLS: Math Club, Debate Club, Aspine Club, and Science Team. Outside of CRLS: PROMYS, PROMYS Math Circle, Chinmaya Mission Boston, and a software development internship at Pakira.

What were some of the out-of-school time (O.S.T) programs that you participated in anytime between grades 6-12?

How did being enrolled in any O.S.T. program(s) contribute to your success both in and out of high school? 

What did you like most about CRLS? Why?
After spending four years here, I have come to see just how well the motto of "Opportunity, Diversity, Respect" describes CRLS. I love that not only do students here have a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but the school provides many avenues for people to pursue their passions in just about any field. 

What is something people unfamiliar with CRLS should know about the school? Why?
The block schedule and the large variety of classes here allow students a lot of latitude to explore many fields while delving deep into an area of interest, so don't be afraid to take full advantage of the offerings during course selection while remaining flexible.

What advice would you give incoming freshmen about CRLS?
CRLS and Cambridge have a wealth of opportunities, so try to learn about them and be proactive in taking advantage of them throughout your time here. Develop a good relationship with your guidance counselor, as they will be instrumental in leading you through high school as well as helping you with your post-secondary planning. Good luck!

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