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Time with Lucio Dery, one of the best NSMQ contestants ever to walk the platform

High Schools Society was privileged to have an interview with one of the best contestants ever to walk the platform of the National Science and Maths Quiz in the person of Master Lucio Dery.Lucio was a contestant for St.Francis Xavier Minor Seminary in 2012 and 2013.In 2012,he was among the top 3 finalists for Xavier when they lost to GSTS by just a point and in 2013 they were eliminated by St.Peter’s SHS in the quarter finals. 

The Writing Department of High Schools Society is pleased to share with you this exciting interview with one of Ghana’s rising stars. 

HSS:Good Day Lucio.Your friends from High Schools Society are happy to talk to you. 

LUCIO:Feel free to ask any question.I will try to answer to the best of my memory. 

HSS:No problem. 

LUCIO:Yeah Sure. 

HSS:So tell us about your educational background. 

LUCIO:I attended Mount Sinai Educational Complex for my JHS education and St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary for SHS.Mount Sinai is in Bolgatanga and Xavier us situated in Wa. 

HSS:What helped you to attain such brilliance during those times in basic and secondary education level? 

LUCIO:I think the biggest factor was inspiration from my parents.They always believed in me and motivated me to always expand my limits.Their support inspired me to work hard. 

HSS:Excellent.How was Xavier like?I mean most of us know you as the Lucio from Xavier.

LUCIO:Xavier was a consuming experience.The students were motivated to give their all in their studies and when you have such small class sizes(my science class had less than 25 people),it becomes really competitive.I think two of the most important things I learnt at Xavier were discipline and balance.Discipline to follow rules and balance to combine school work with play and church activities.

HSS:Wow!That class there is noteworthy especially when some schools have like 65 in a science class.How did you become a member of the NSMQ team even in third year when fourth years were around?

LUCIO:I have mo idea.I was surprised myself when I was chosen.I guess the teacher in charge of selecting the students Mr. Jonas Langn,saw something in me that I didn’t and decided to trust me with the task. 

HSS:Haha I see.Were you the only third year selected? 

LUCIO:Yes.

HSS:Now how was the preparation towards the NSMQ like? 

LUCIO:It was intense.We spent half the time reading and the other half having mock competitions among ourselves.Some past students helped us out a lot.They prepared questions and moderated our quizzes. 

HSS:Very impressive.How many were you at that time? 

LUCIO:Four;Myself,Richard Taabazuing,Felix Seiyi and Stephen Boosuro.That was in 2012. 

HSS:What about in 2013? LUCIO:In 2013,there was Myself,Alexander Derizie,Jortuotey Christopher and Nang Bayi Josiah

HSS:So very few.Now to the main event in 2012,what was the motivation and experience like? 

LUCIO:It was an exhilarating experience.We set out with the aim to win no matter who we faced.Every win was an inspiration to work and pray harder.We wanted to prove that even though we were a relatively ‘unknown’ school,we packed a mighty punch. 

HSS:Haha True.Were you not any time scared of a school you were to face.I mean you eliminated Wesley Girls,Opoku Ware,Achimota and so on?

LUCIO:I was almost always scared.Richard was always confident though.There were times that I did not believe we could win but he would always assure the rest of us that we would do it.His assurance rubbed off and the rest of us during the contests. 

HSS:Very encouraging.How was it when you got to the finals against GSTS? 

LUCIO:I think this was one of the differences between our 2012 and 2013 groups.In 2013,neither myself nor Alex was as confident as Richard was and that cost us when we needed to rise up to turn the tables around.The final was a memorable experience.Everybody was psyched.Not many expected us to get that far at the beginning of the competition.It was great to have proven them wrong.

HSS:Very Impressive.Though you did not win,your charisma and determination still follows you.As you have become an NSMQ legend.Now tell us a little bit about your current education? 

LUCIO:I am currently at Stamford University attempting a concurrent B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Computer Science.I plan on graduating with my B.S. in 2017 and M.S. in 2018. 

HSS:Very cool.Do you plan on returning to Ghana after study? 

LUCIO:Yes,but not immediately.I plan on getting a PhD here,working a couple of years in the industry here and also teach in a university here for sometime before going home.My first plan is to go back home and teach/do research at a university like Ashesi or KNUST. 

HSS:Very excellent innovation.Last but not least,can you give students of Ghana,especially of science some free advice? 

LUCIO:Challenge yourself is what I will say.I remember I used to always ask myself(and I still do),can I be better?If you are at the top of the class,challenge yourself yourself to be as good as the person at the top of the next class ahead of you.If you have finished your syllabus,challenge yourself to learn material outside the requirement.It’s only by pushing your limits that you can improve,the sky is only the limit you let it be. 

HSS:Lucio Dery,thank you very much.We truly appreciate your time and kindness.Wishing you all the very best in your future endeavors.Once again,High Schools Society says,Thank You. 

LUCIO:Thank You for the opportunity too.Anytime.