A Passion For Geography, Leadership and Sartell Soccer, Gopi Ramanathan is All Star Student [VIDEO]
SARTELL - For as long as he can remember, Gopi Ramanathan says friends and classmates have tried to stump him with geography questions.
Ramanathan has won gold at national geography bees and is always up for the challenge.
"I remember even in middle school when high schoolers were riding in the back of the bus, they would bring me back and ask me questions. I thought it was kind of cool to make connections with high schoolers, it was unusual as well..but definitely fun."
Ramanathan has been interested in geography since his elementary school years. His family is from Sri Lanka and often took summer trips there, which led him to fall in love with the subject. Ramanathan admits he enjoys most subjects in school.
"I've also enjoyed math and science as well. I've always thought it was interesting how these two subjects are the basis of everything in our world and how everything can be explained by math or by science."
His teacher and student council advisor Karrie Fredrickson says she first met Gopi in one of her 9th grade classes. She quickly noticed him as an incredible student who’s also managed to stay down to earth with his endless knowledge.
"He was never conceited about his knowledge. He always was very willing to work with any group in the room and was conscientious of including other people and people are very magnetized to his personality."
Along with knowledge bowl, Ramanathan is also president of the state student council association and central student council division and plays soccer for Sartell. At 17, he says his top two college choices right now are Stanford or Northwestern.
While he's undecided on any set career, Ramanathan says politics and leadership, geography, science and math all interest him as future possibilities.
Just like many of his classmates, I made an attempt during my interview with Gopi to stump him by asking him what the highest point in Minnesota was. With no hesitation...he shut me down.
"Eagle Mountain," Gopi said with a smile.