Valedictorian plays to his strengths in and out of school

Valedictorian plays to his strengths in and out of school

Whether you know him as Sweeney Todd, the Valedictorian of the 2015 class or just the guy with the huge smile and Hawaiian shirts, everybody knows Everett Sussman ’15. But how well do you really know him?

Nearly everyone knows that he has been an integral member of the Math Team since his freshman year, as well as a star on the stage with the Staples Players. Sussman was also voted “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day” in the senior superlatives, and his friends cite his exuberance as a reason for that.

“Everett’s the happiest guy I know,” fellow-Player Claire Smith ’15 said. “He’s never without a smile or a goddamn twinkle in his eye.”

“He has been as mature as an adult since before I knew him,” Bill Wilkes said. Wilkes had Sussman in his class for two years and coached him on the math team for all four years.

Those close to Sussman see a side of him that many others don’t see. When asked to describe him, many people had trouble narrowing down his huge personality and uniqueness. However, Vig Namasivayam ’16, fellow-Player and friend of Sussman’s, summed up his innocence and enthusiasm by saying, “[Everett is] a very intelligent, very talented 7-year old who has fun doing everything.”

Sussman’s teachers are also impressed with both his versatility and his humility.

“As intelligent as he is, it is rare to find someone that humble,” Wilkes said. “He is so talented in so many different arenas, but he’s just so humble about it all.”

Sussman is also extremely goofy. Fellow Players have dozens of funny stories, including Sussman being so in character that he wouldn’t respond to his own name and only turned when his character’s name was spoken. Another time, Sussman tested his hearing ability by clapping to make sure he hadn’t gone deaf.

The same thing can be said about his time with the Math Team. Wilkes mentioned several “you had to be there” moments, and teammate Arun Soni ’16 said, “I could go on and on about Everett.”

Sussman’s quirkiness was evident in his choice to be interviewed over a milk-shake at Shake Shack and his digression on how extremely disturbing he finds the Teletubbies.

Sussman also has other hobbies that keep him occupied. For instance, he loves to draw and brags about his drawings making it on to the fridge in his house. He also loves to hike, with his biggest goal in life to one day hike the mountains of Arizona.

For now, Sussman will attend Harvard in the fall and going to a pre-college Arts program there in the summer, where his focus will be a bit different.

“My goal for college is to be as much of a sponge as possible because I really have no clue what I want to major in,” Sussman said. “I’m just going to keep as many doors open as possible, accept all the opportunities that come my way and have a good time doing it.”

When asked to give advice about how to maintain a positive attitude, Sussman had no hesitation in his answer.

“I just think it’s an outlook. You have to not take yourself so seriously, not take things going on around you so seriously and just realize we’re all in the same boat,” Sussman said. “If you take a moment to look outside at how beautiful the day is, and just take a deep breath every day before school, I think that can really help with everything.”