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Posted on May 17, 2019

Quincy student is BBCC math student of the year

Hannah Bensch, a student at Quincy High School and Big Bend Community College, has won the college’s Outstanding Math Student of the Year award.
“I’m really honored,” she said. “There are a lot of really smart classmates that I have who are really good at math.”
Bensch said this is the first award of its kind she has won thanks to her math talent. Yet it is familiar. Her brother won it about five years ago, as well.
“We both share that love for math, so it’s very special to me,” she said.
Her brother, now 24, is studying theology in Canada.
As a Running Start student, she has taken calculus classes, linear algebra classes and differential equation classes at BBCC. Amazingly, she says she did not realize she had a talent for math until her first year in Running Start, last year.

Hannah Bensch, Big Bend’s Outstanding Math Student of the Year, and Tyler Wallace, Outstanding Full-Time Faculty of the Year, show their plaques.

Submitted photo

“I was doing really well in my class, and my teacher was proud of me, I guess,” she said with a chuckle. She has always preferred math classes to other subjects, though.
“It’s straightforward, and I understand it pretty well,” she said.
Not surprisingly, she wants to become a math teacher, inspired perhaps by the teachers she found at BBCC. Tyler Wallace, who taught her calculus class, is “the best teacher I have ever had.” Wallace was honored alongside Bensch, with the BBCC Outstanding Full-Time Faculty of the Year award.
Bensch credited her upbringing as a homeschooled student (from kindergarten until the 10th grade) and as a member of a family that has long shown an aptitude for mathematics.
“When my brother was going through school, he tried to explain what he was learning to me, even though I was only in grade school,” she said. “I didn’t understand most of it, but it was still fun because he was so excited about it.”
Homeschoolers get a bad rap, she said.
“We do work hard,” she said. “A lot of people think homeschoolers don’t actually do school, and we do.”

By Sebastian Moraga,