Huston Nagy doesn’t miss a beat as he sings a cappella and moves through the halls of North Olmsted High School guided by his full-time aide.
A gifted musician, honors student, swimmer and avid golfer, Nagy, 16, doesn’t let being visually impaired since birth limit his ambitions or overshadow his natural talents. In fact, this past summer, he golfed in the Firestone Junior Cup.
At school, he uses assistive technology provided by the district to help navigate schoolwork. One such technology, called Braille Note, converts worksheets and printed material into braille for Nagy and enables him to enter his information, which is then translated back to the teachers in their preferred format.
Nagy had the idea to make a video prior to starting his junior year that would share the accommodations he uses as well as some tips and tricks for his teachers ahead of the new school year.
“Since I’m blind, it usually takes me longer when we have a big project or something,” says Nagy, who had his first job over the summer stocking shelves at Petco at Steelyard Commons. “Things like getting project summaries ahead of time is really helpful for me.”
A member of Special Edition, an a cappella vocal group at the high school, Nagy wants to go to college to become a music teacher. “I’ve wanted to do that since I was seven or eight,” he says. “I’m really, really into music, and I'd like to start writing my own songs.”
At only 18, senior artist Bianca Sako has amassed an impressive portfolio and a list of accolades that include one of her art pieces being named a Top 25 in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, as well as yielding a Governor’s Award of Excellence — one of her proudest recognitions.
“I love realism. If I could do art for the rest of my life, I would just do that,” says the softspoken Sako, whose work entitled, “Fighting for Your Freedom,” stood out among the 7,000 submissions from across the state. “It’s a picture of a veteran, but his face is my dad’s face,” she says.
Especially talented in colored pencil and oil painting, Sako says she started drawing when she was young but began taking it seriously around eighth grade. Always strong in art and math, she recently grappled with the decision of whether to pursue advanced studies in engineering or architecture.
But with the encouragement of her art teachers (especially Mr. K.), Sako is applying for early acceptance to Rhode Island School of Design, one of the first and most prominent art and design schools in the U.S.
While she considers herself self-taught, she credits her art instruction at North Olmsted High School with giving her the freedom and encouragement to focus on artwork she wanted to create.
“Anything that I wanted to do, I was allowed to do, and that was helpful in my personal growth,” she says with a smile. “That experience has been so valuable, and it improved my overall creativity.”