Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


The Brightest Bulbs in the Box

Meet the Smartest Underclassmen at AMHS
Yiqing Ye 26
Isaac Chery, II
Yiqing Ye ’26

Academic Magnet High School is the eighth best (public) school in the nation, and it is no surprise that we have some geniuses among us. The goal of the school is to attract Charleston County’s best and brightest to one place, no wonder there are some child-prodigies here. The school is a sea of Einsteins, but we aim to find who our next Ivy League students will be. We decided to write an article about the freshman and sophomore classes to discover the rising stars of Magnet academics. A Google form was sent out asking students who they deemed the smartest in their grade to be and we interviewed the students who received the most votes. With this article we aimed to provide students with some perspective into your day to day life, and what allows a student to retain a high academic standard at Academic Magnet. Maybe you can glean some helpful information to become like these students someday.

These results were collected on Sunday night at 11:30pm, so sorry if you voted after the deadline. These were the questions asked in the interview:

How do you spend your free time (not in school/doing school work)?
How much free time do you have during a typical school day?
How much time do you have during the weekend days?
How much time do you spend doing homework/studying on school days?
How much time do you spend doing homework/studying on weekend days?
How many AP classes and what AP classes do you take (if any)?
How many hours of sleep do you get on average?
Do your parents help you with your school work?
Have you enjoyed your time at Academic Magnet?
Do you have a lot of classes with your closest friends at Academic Magnet?
Who is your favorite teacher at Academic Magnet?
What are your favorite classes at Academic Magnet?

Freshman Results

Among those polled, Andy Wong was named to be the smartest freshman boy. In his free time, Andy plays piano but also is serious about exercise; he runs, lifts, and wrestles. Despite spending time with school he says that he still has about 4 hours of free time on a given day. On weekends, he typically has the whole day to spend having fun unless sports take over. On school days, Andy spends a shockingly low amount of time on homework at just one hour per night. I think we should all take notes on his time management skills. On the weekends, Andy refuses to do homework and would rather do it during school or the mornings before school. Currently, Andy is taking AP Computer Science Principles and AP Human Geography. Two AP classes is impressive for a freshman and I’m sure there’s many more ahead of him. Andy might be AMHS’ best sleeper, claiming that he gets 12 hours of sleep a night. Andy says he has enjoyed his time at AMHS so far, especially wrestling with his friends. Ms. Langley is Andy’s favorite teacher with her class being his favorite along with English.

According to her peers, Suzette Head is the smartest freshman girl. Similar to Andy, much of Suzette’s free time is occupied with sports practices and games. She plays club soccer and is a member of the JV Basketball team. She also works as a soccer referee. Unlike Andy, she has less free time, occupied by school and sports. On weekends, Suzette tries “to keep weekends pretty chill aside from catching up on homework.” Each school night, Suzette averages around 3 hours of homework which seems pretty typical of a Magnet student, but she emphasizes that some nights are a lot worse than others. Similar to most, she avoids homework like the plague on Saturdays but Sunday is when she tries to get the bulk of her work done. Similar to Andy, Suzette is also enrolled in AP Human Geography and AP Computer Science Principles. More relatably, she says to average about 7 hours of sleep per night. She has thoroughly enjoyed her time at Magnet so far saying “I’ve met so many nice, smart people; the classes are interesting, the teachers are great, and I love my basketball team.” She does wish she had some more classes with her friends as she only gets to see some of them at lunch. When asked about her favorite teacher, she couldn’t narrow it down to one saying that they are all great. Her favorite class is Precalculus, which is really impressive to take as a freshman.

This class is super talented with another girl being tied as the smartest girl: Machaela Black. In her free time, Machaela “works on her fantasy or fiction novels” which means that she is writing her own book which is wildly impressive. When she runs out of ideas she moves on to her sketchbook which can help bolster her creativity for writing. She is clearly a jack of all trades. After all productivity is done, she heads to her room to play some video games. Contrary to weekdays, weekends are a deserved “free-for-all” given that her chores have been accomplished. She says “the possibilities for what I can do with the time I have on the weekends are endless” except they are limited by her current inability to drive. On school nights, 3-4 hours are dedicated to her studies but weekends are a different ball game, “on weekends, I want NOTHING to do with homework.” Machaela opted not to take any AP classes for her freshman year as it “felt wise to lay off from what I don’t know yet.” She gets around 7-8 hours of sleep per night but she notes that it’s not the greatest sleep possible, feeling restless. When asked if she has enjoyed her time at Magnet she says “Um, YES!!! :D.” The emoticon and three exclamations emphasize her happiness. She is a fan of all of her teachers claiming it is impossible to decide between the great options. She also loves all of her classes besides Human Geography but “It’s not the teacher, it’s me.”

Machaela Black ’27 (Isaac Chery, II)

Sophomore Results

Sophomore’s named Yiqing Ye as the smartest Sophomore boy. I took AP CSP with him last year and can agree with this decision; this guy is a stud. After school Yiqing heads to swim practice with his team. If he wants to relax he picks between reading, watching YouTube or playing video games. He typically sharpens his skills by playing piano for 30 minutes a day. He has around an hour of free time a day. His weekends are generally more open, but he still does stay busy. He works on Saturdays and goes to church on Sundays but still has 6-8 hours of free time available. Yiqing has impressive time management skills, using his study halls efficiently to do most of his homework resulting in less than 45 minutes of homework a night. Homework is typically a no go on weekends for Yiqing except if a teacher curses him with a Monday test then maybe he will study for an hour or two. As a sophomore, Yiqing is taking 3 APs: World History, Statistics, and Physics. Yiqing gets around 7 hours of beauty sleep per night. Magnet so far has “been pretty easy going without too much difficulty and I’ve enjoyed it so far.” I think this easy-going attitude is probably helpful to his academic success. Yiqing has gotten lucky with his schedule saying that half of his classes have one of his best friends in them, but due to his advanced class schedule he is stuck with all upperclassmen. This year he has not been able to pinpoint a favorite teacher but Mrs. Akery took the cake last year. AP World History is his favorite class this year as “Mr. Garris makes history very interesting and very easy to learn. It’s a class that I actually look forward to.”

Yiqing Ye ’26 (Isaac Chery, II)

The school spirit at AMHS is definitely unlike any other school, and I think the environment here has helped me get through a lot.

— Vanessa Nguyen

The Sophomore class pointed to Vanessa Nguyen as the brightest girl in their grade. Off campus, she develops her talent for the violin and piano which occupies a good chunk of her time. She loves to binge watch shows with her current obsession being Money Heist. She blames this habit for the majority of her procrastination issues. Relatably, her phone also takes up plenty of her time. She also makes sure to leave time to spend with family and friends. On a typical day for Vanessa, she has around 2-3 hours of free time. On the weekends, Saturday is typically completely free, up to her choosing how she spends it. Sundays are a little more serious with 4-5 hours being free but the rest is spent on work. Vanessa says that if she really focused she could finish all of her work in 2-3 hours but she multi-tasks which causes her to take a lot longer. Sundays are the day that takes the bulk of her academic efforts with 5-6 hours of work being done, something that seems impossible to my mind. Her schedule is loaded up this year with APs with Biology, Music Theory, and World History. Vanessa is able to manage all of her hobbies and schoolwork enough to get the doctor-recommended 9 hours of sleep. She gives some credit to her parents for her success saying that her mom is a chemistry expert and her dad is quite the mathematician. Vanessa has enjoyed her time at Magnet as she has learned a lot about herself and has met great people here. Some days are more difficult than others but “the school spirit at AMHS is definitely unlike any other school, and I think the environment here has helped me get through a lot.” She and her best friends coordinated to take the same classes which gives her plenty of time with them. She is also a mentor which puts her in study hall with them. Having to name her favorite teacher was difficult for Vanesssa but she narrowed it down to Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Yackey. However, she could think of a long list for why all her teachers are great. Her favorite classes are Chemistry and AP CSP due to her innate interest in science.

Vanessa Nguyen ’26 (Isaac Chery, II)

Magnet students, like ourselves, act like it is impossible to maintain grades like these students do. However, after reading these answers, some students do it pretty easily. These students balance their free-time with their school work in extraordinary fashion. Congratulations to these students on their well-deserved bragging rights.

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