HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The spotlight is on high school senior Tucker Smithwick, who was nominated for being so outstanding.
Smithwick’s base school is Conway High School and he was accepted into the Academy for the Arts Science and Technology in Myrtle Beach his freshman year and said he has loved it ever since.
“It’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love my school, I love my atmosphere, I love my teachers. You can tell it’s not like, 'Crap, I’m a teacher. I have to do this. It’s ‘Hey, I’m a teacher who wants to help you,’ and these are teachers that know the students in the school are there to learn and to participate," Smithwick said.
He is the only male senior swimmer on the Conway swim team, he’s varsity captain, he loves math and history, and he carries a 4.9 grade-point average. The hybrid learning this school year due to COVID-19 has been tough, he added.
“I’ve always been more of an active learner. Like for right now, I’m in AP environmental science. That’s one of my two classes at my school, so it’s hard we don’t have a lot of labs and I normally understand the scientific concepts through asking questions and labs. So it is a bit hard, but since last year I am learning how to adjust,” he said.
Smithwick said his friends help get him through every day because they are experiencing the same thing.
“Honestly, all this free time was kind of killing me not knowing what to do at first, but then I said, ‘Wait, I have a job still,’ so I’m working four or five days a week when I’m not in class," said Smithwick, who works as a barista at C3 Coffee Bar in Conway.
He said one of his proudest moments was getting accepted into AAST.
“That was pretty big, considering at that point back when I applied, they were only letting in 100 people per school year as a freshman class and seeing as all of Horry County and all the people that applied," Smithwick said. "I wasn’t on the wait list I got straight in.”
Smithwick said after graduation he plans to attend Charleston Southern University.
“I’ve put in my application I’m still praying and hoping for that response,” he said. "I don’t know yet for my career choice or my major. I just know where I want to attend. It’s a private Christian university and I went there and toured and met with a counselor and professor actually.”