Kevin Puha’s intellect seems limited only by his interests.
With a 1780 SAT score, Puha won the STAR Student honor for Evans Christian Academy.
The woman he chose as STAR Teacher, social studies instructor Kathryn Nave, said she often encourages Puha to pursue a career in writing. Puha, though, said he prefers the decisiveness offered by math.
“I like the deductive reasoning used in math,” he said. “There’s no philosophical debate. There’s a right answer. There’s a wrong answer.”
Though still deciding on a career, Puha, 18, said he intends to major in mathematics, possibly at Anderson University in South Carolina or Brevard College in North Carolina.
“I’ve been thinking about a career in actuarial science, but I’m not entirely certain,” Puha said.
Whatever his choice of occupation or school, Nave expects Puha to shine.
“He is constantly looking ahead,” Nave said of Puha. “He’s a bookworm and he’ll read ahead for classes. By the time I start a lesson, he already knows it and has formulated questions in his mind. Kevin challenges me as a teacher. I like that. He keeps me on my toes.”
Nave started teaching 40 years ago, with 10 of those years at ECA. She started her career as a special needs teacher in elementary grades, but also has taught at middle and high schools.
At the private school on South Old Belair Road, Nave teaches economics, AP American government and AP American history.
“I love history and government,” Nave said. “I never get bored with it.”
Outside of the classroom, Nave owns and operates Skateland of Augusta, a roller skating rink on Windsor Springs Road.
Puha said he chose Nave as STAR Teacher, her second time receiving the honor, because of her enthusiasm.
“She has a way of explaining things really well,” he said. “She makes (learning) fun.”