Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of one of Toderescu-Stavilla’s potential college choices.
A goal for all parents is to see their child work hard, do the best they possibly can and to become successful in their endeavors.
Edward Toderescu-Stavilla is such an individual.
The first member of his family to be born in America, the Smith-Cotton sophomore was recently selected to attend two of the state’s most elite programs for high school students: the Missouri Scholar’s Academy and the Missouri Fine Arts Academy.
“My parents are immigrants from Romania and Moldova,” Toderescu-Stavilla said. “My mother is a sixth grade math teacher at Smith-Cotton Junior High and my father works at a butcher shop.
“Although neither of my parents’ occupations pertains to my career interest they have always taught me to work hard and pave my own way through life,” he added. “… being the first in my family born in America has forced me to work hard and aim high.”
Toderescu-Stavilla said he hopes to double major in molecular biology and music with a minor in political science, planning to one day become a surgeon.
Although it is still early in his educational career, Toderescu-Stavilla lists Vanderbilt, Virginia and Cornell as his top three considerations for college, explaining they are all prestigious universities with outstanding music programs and undergraduate scientific research.
Proficient in five instruments, Toderescu-Stavilla explained his love of learning, saying each of the subjects provided a different reason to study them.
“I love all the subjects for different reasons — history allows for academic discussion on lessons we can learn from the past, English provides a channel to learn from authors and express my feelings in writing,” he explained. “Math and science are challenging subjects that prepare me for the medical field and band and music are challenging, yet relaxing.”
The young scholar has become successful with time management.
“Generally, I try to keep a routine on weekdays,” Toderescu-Stavilla said. “Most of the time I practice for band in the evening, after school, while I do most of my homework in the morning.
“Some advice I believe other students could use is that stress is not always a bad thing,” he said before adding that it has proven beneficial at times. “Instead of coping with stress or ignoring it, I utilize it to fuel myself towards completing tasks.”
A press release from the Sedalia School District 200 lists his accomplishments as a co-captain of the Smith-Cotton Academic Team, which recently took first place in district competition; he finished third among individuals at the event. He also has qualified to compete at the National Leadership Conference for HOSA, the Health Occupations Students of America-Future Health Professionals organization.
He is a member of the Smith-Cotton United Foreign Languages Club, the S-C Science Club, and National Honor Society, as well as serving as a class representative for Student Council, captain of one of two Smith-Cotton Envirothon teams, and an Executive Board member of the S-C Math Team.
He is a field manager for the Smith-Cotton Tiger Pride Marching Band and a member of the S-C Symphonic Band, along with performing with S-C’s new indoor performance group that will compete later this month at the Winter Guard International Winds World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Toderescu-Stavilla is a Community Café student leader and a member of S-C’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, the cross country team and the S-C Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter.
“I have at least one friend in each class who I can text to keep up on dates for homework assignments and notes for when I am absent,” Toderescu-Stavilla explained. “Since my numerous activities often leave me with more field trips than days attended school in a given week, I often have to catch up on tests and coursework.
“Pretty much all of my interests are somehow school-related, and I don’t have much down time,” he explained. “Aside from what any other average high schooler does with his social life, I have school, band, church and family.”
According to the MSA website, the scholars academy is “a three-week academic program for 330 of Missouri’s gifted students who are ready to begin their junior year in high school.” It is hosted at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The fine arts academy “enrolls only artistically-motivated students, and provides a curriculum different from that found in a public or private school,” according to the academy website.
Toderescu-Stavilla was forced to choose between the two academies.
“Unfortunately, the two academies overlap, and I chose to reject enrollment from the Fine Arts Academy,” he said. “Since the Scholars Academy was my first choice, I was forced to decline enrollment to the Fine Arts Academy before I knew whether I was accepted to the Scholars Academy or not.
“My biggest fear was that I would then be rejected from the Scholars Academy and not get to go to either of them,” he added. “When I was accepted to the Scholars Academy, I was quite excited to have the privilege of attending.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484