Mihir Patel’s strong scientific mind notched him a perfect score last year in the math section of the SAT. Combined with high scores in the reading and essay sections, he tied fellow Lakeside High senior Katie Bollag for the STAR Student title with an overall SAT score of 2350.
The STAR Student honor is annually given to the student scoring the highest on the college assessment.
For STAR Teacher, Patel picked a former rocket scientist.
Before pursuing an education career, Lakeside High AP math teacher Jerry Meitin helped make Trident missiles for the U.S. military. But that was about 20 years ago, and Meitin said he has never regretted his decision to teach. He proclaimed at a STAR Student ceremony last week in Harlem that he never wants to leave the classroom.
“I love being in the classroom and working with students like Mihir,” he said. “I’ve no regrets about that.”
Patel said he picked Meitin for his teaching style and his ability to challenge students to earn their knowledge.
“I do a lot of questioning,” Meitin said. “When a student asks me a question, I usually answer with one of my own. Usually, you can suggest to them where to look to find the answer for themselves.”
For Mihir, who hopes to attend Harvard and eventually become a medical researcher, the exactness of math has a huge appeal.
There is no philosophical debate where math is concerned, he said.
“There are only solutions,” Patel said.