People: Eighth-grade math whiz Casey Henson

April 26, 2004|EMILY BURTON

A student at Boyle County Middle School has math teachers scrambling to keep up. They are constantly challenged to find advanced math classes difficult enough for eighth-grader math whiz Casey Henson.

In elementary school, he skipped second-grade math, fifth- and sixth-grade math as well. While still in middle school, Henson has tackled algebra and is currently enrolled in a junior-level honors geometry class. He is also holding $6,500 in scholarship money, awarded for top placements at major math competitions across the state.

"It will be a lot easier, going to college," Henson said of his scholarships.

His latest achievement was taking first place at a MathCounts competition in Frankfort.

"It pretty much comes naturally," said Henson. "...I was pretty good with math in elementary school, early on."

Good genes, attributes his mother, but also great teachers and a wonderful dedication to learning.

"Always, always, academics have been No. 1 ... he's always been challenged. They (teachers) challenge him every year," said his mother, Carla Metz.


Boyle County school Superintendent Pam Rogers said teaching Henson was a wonderful challenge for the staff to keep up with.

"We're very, very proud of him," said Rogers. "We have worked hard to meet his needs, and accelerate him, and make sure we challenge him."

"It's more challenging, definitely," said Henson of his current geometry class.

Despite studying the Pythagorean Theorem at the tender age of 13, Henson said he is pretty much a normal teenager. His friends accept the fact that math comes easily to him.

"I think they find me interesting," said Henson.

His parents are not so modest, however.

"It just blows my mind," said Metz.

"I've never had to help him with anything, he's done it all on his own," said his father, Mark Henson. "He's always done really well. The problem that I saw was that he did everything in his head, he never wanted to show his work."

With his first semester at the University of Kentucky only four years away, Casey Henson he is excited to start his major in engineering.

"I got some scholarship money toward it (UK), and I think it's a pretty good school," said Henson.

His parents are keeping their eyes on the future as well.

"All that we can hope is, hopefully, he'll be able to apply this and have a successful career," said Mark Henson.

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