Top Player in Nevada Enjoys Facetime with Education Leader Robert Sun

Top Player in Nevada Enjoys Facetime with
Education Leader Robert Sun

LAS VEGAS, NV—When Liberty Perez and her Southern Highlands Preparatory middle school peers first picked up their iPads and logged into First In Math®, she realized it could be an interesting way to become a better math student.

Liberty Perez and Robert Sun
Proof of just another way Liberty used technology to meet one of her goals—a meeting with the developer of First In Math on FaceTime! Left to right: 1) Liberty and Robert Sun share a laugh. 2) With Principal Carla Martin. 3) Showing off her new Apple watch, a gift from her parents.

The energetic 8th grader already excelled in reading, art, music and science, but math was not necessarily her favorite subject. SHPS Math teacher, Susan Kolodny, encouraged her interest, and together they began to watch her First In Math sticker-count grow. When it reached 5,000, she set another goal. Then another. And another.

By the end of the First In Math National Top Ten competition on April 28, Perez had amassed 53,390 stickers, and was ranked #1 among all Nobel schools, #1 in Nevada and #8 Nationwide, all grades.

“The fact is, Liberty used perseverance, self-monitoring and goal-setting to set herself apart from her peers,” explains Southern Highlands Principal Carla Martin.

Executive Director for Nobel Learning Communities, Inc., Kathleen Maroney, agrees. “I could not be more proud of her effort. Libby is an amazing student who represents Nobel and First In Math with pride and enthusiasm, and I want to congratulate her on a job well done.”

When Libby—as she is known to her friends—wanted to know how to earn more stickers, she reached out to her math coach, Nobel Learning Education Manager Toby Grosswald, for guidance. Together, they contacted Suntex International, emailing the corporate offices of First In Math. “I wanted everyone to know I was in it to win it, and I wanted to ask if I could speak with Mr. Sun when I placed in the National Top Ten!”

Thanks to technology, the 2,000 miles that separated them did not stand in the way. Her eventual face-to-face ‘meeting’ with inventor Robert Sun impressed everyone. “Students aren’t usually that poised or confident,” says Suntex Executive Vice President, Nan Ronis, who helped arrange a FaceTime chat with the Pennsylvania-based Sun. “She listened, offered feedback and was comfortable doing so.”

Sun came away from their meeting very impressed. “She set a goal to be in the top ten players in the nation—among more than a million players—and she achieved that goal through sheer persistence. I believe Liberty will make great contributions to humanity as she continues to grow."

“This story shows every student that when you set your mind to something, it can be achieved,” says Grosswald. “The dedication, determination and drive that Liberty demonstrated was supported by her educators and mentors every step of the way. All of us congratulate Libby, knowing that this is not the last time that we will hear of her accomplishments.”

Southern Highlands Preparatory School is a part of Nobel Learning Communities, a network of more than 200 private schools in 18 states and the District of Columbia, with a commitment to outstanding preschools and K-12 schools.


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