Wysmierski, L&N co-val from Farragut, earns PSCC degree

Building on its reputation for excellence in high school academics, L & N STEM Academy in downtown Knoxville features a local honoree at the top of its Class of 2020.

In fact, Farragut resident Raymond Wysmierski — who claimed co-valedictorian honors among 128 graduates thanks to a 4.71 grade-point average — already has earned a college degree.

Taking full advantage of the Dual Enrollment program, “I graduated Pellissippi (State Community College) with an Associates in Science (degree) this semester,” said Wysmierski, who will attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, majoring in material science and engineering.

“UT has a five-year Masters Degree program for the Material Sciences Department, and I’d like to get a master’s degree and hopefully go to a research & development lab,” the 17-year-old added.

Wysmierski will use a $1,000 Becky Ashe Scholarship he earned at L & N toward his tuition at UT.

It was awarded based on a 300-word essay he wrote, which was deemed “new and innovative,” about his efforts to revitalize the school’s math club.

Among other honors he piled up at L & N, Wysmierski earned the Advanced Placement Scholar Award as a junior “for getting a 4 or a 5 on three AP tests,” he said.

For “having the top grade in your class” in a given curriculum, Wysmierski piled up “Excellence” awards all four years.

As a sophomore, he earned top honors in biology, Latin II and percussion ensemble.

“I got a silver medal in Maxima Cum Laude award for the National Latin Exam,” Wysmierski said. “My junior and senior year I also got the Excellence in Percussion ensemble Award” as First Chair in L & N percussion ensemble.

As a freshmen he earned Excellence awards in chemistry, geometry, geography and world history.

Wysmierski also was a two-year participant in Knox County Honors Band and was captain of his swimming and diving team as a senior.

“My band teacher, he was a huge inspiration,” Wysmierski said about Jeremiah Gibson. “Like every day in class, he always made it enjoyable. I always wanted to be there.

“My swim coach, too,” he added about Craig Strand. “He was always very supportive while also being able to push me to try harder and improve myself.”

Wysmierski also participated on the L & N Science Olympiad team, which finished first among a regional field, and Science Bowl.

Overall at L & N, “I loved it there,” he said. “I got to meet a ton of great teachers. I don’t think I disliked any of them.

“… It’s just a lot more laid back there,” he added. “The people and staff there want to help you and do what they can to get you ready for college.”

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the family moved to Knox County when Wysmierski was 6 years old.

He attended Grace Christian Academy as a first- and second-grader, then Concord Christian School from third through eighth grades.

Wysmierski was co-valedictorian with Alexander Yarkhan, a Bearden resident.

L & N’s graduation was held in Knoxville Central High’s Dan Y. Boring Stadium Tuesday, June 16.