BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO
BACKGROUND: Christ the King High School senior Stephen Lebak was awarded the distinguished title of National Merit Scholar. Lebak was part of the one percent of students selected as finalists. He competed with over 1.4 million students from 22,000 high schools nationwide to earn this honor. Lebak also enjoys the distinction of being Christ the King’s first National Merit Scholar.
The Boston native is a member of the mathematics team and tied for first place statewide with three fellow Christ the King students. He is also co-champion of the school’s annual pi contest and can recite up to four hundred digits of pi.
SCHOOL LIFE: In addition, Lebak serves as the editor of the school’s newspaper The Royal Times, and enjoys playing the saxophone in the school’s band. Outside of school, his diverse hobbies range from baking to working with the Rubik’s cube.
“Usually, when I find something that intrigues me, I delve right into it and work fairly hard at it to better myself,” he said.
Lebak was chosen as the salutatorian for the class of 2015.
“Stephen is a very affable, helpful, productive and intelligent young man who is liked and admired by his teachers and fellow students,” Principal Peter Mannarino said. “Stephen’s hard work and determination [set] an example for all students at Christ the King. We wish him the best of good fortune in all his future endeavors.”
RESEARCH: One of Lebak’s current undertakings is an advanced research project organized through the school under the guidance of project mentor Mr. Mackey. Students admitted to this select program come up with their own research topics and work in conjunction with other schools and organizations to further their exploration.
Lebak chose to investigate wind power and turbine construction.
“Turbines usually have three blades, so I figured, why not six?” Lebak said.
As part of his research, Lebak constructed a mini six-blade turbine and used a three-speed fan to simulate wind. He measured the turbine’s output in terms of RPMs. Lebak presented his findings at a large conference hosted by Christ the King on May 6.
FUTURE: Lebak will attend Fordham University at Rose Hill on a full scholarship in the fall. He was admitted to the university’s honors program and has chosen to major in mathematics.
“I visited the campus a couple of times and liked it,” he said. “The honors program there also tends to be small and structured in a way that appealed to me.”