He loves to play piano. In addition to taking lessons at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he accompanies his church's children's choir. This year he began attending the Berkeley Math Circle and achieved success in various math competitions: He earned a perfect score in the American Mathematics Competition for 10th grade, the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, and the Bay Area Math Olympiad. He also placed fifth in the Northern California Mathcounts competition. His parents are Jennifer O'Dorney, his home school teacher, and Michael O'Dorney, a Bay Area Rapid Transit train operator.
Nate enjoys playing the cello, bass guitar, piano and many other instruments. He also enjoys playing on a competitive curling team. His other interests include reading, baking, disassembling "stuff" to see how it works, and reading. He closely follows the Edmonton Eskimos and the Edmonton Oilers. His academic pursuits are spurred by the two educators in his household-his mother, Carolyn Gartke, a principal, and father, Tim Gartke, a math teacher. The three of them speak Lithuanian. He would most like to meet the President, "just so I could say I did, and to ask him some important questions on his opinion of some diplomatic matters."
Mrs. Laura Bush meets with the 15 Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship finalists during an ABC television taping at the White House Thursday, May 31, 2007, to be aired on ABC during the final round Thursday evening. From left to right are Tia Natasha-Elizabeth Thomas of Coarsegold, Calif.; Isabel A. Jacobson of Madison, Wis.; Joseph Henares of Avon, Conn.; Cody Wang of Alberta, Canada; Nithya P. Vijayakumar of Canton, Mich.; Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas; Prateek Kohli of Westbury, N.Y.; Jonathan Horton, front-left center, of Gilbert, Ariz.; Evan M. O'Dorney, center, of Danville, Calif.; Connor W. Spencer, front-right center,of Platte City, Mo.; Amy Chyao, back-row next to Mrs. Bush, of Richardson, Texas; Claire Zhang of Jupiter, Fla.; Anqi Dong, upper-right, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Nate Gartke , center far-right, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada; and Matthew Evans, far-right, of Albuquerque, N.Mex. White House photo by Shealah Craighead
Cody has a broad interest in computers, animation, reading, drawing and classical music. In addition to excelling in his core school subjects, he also likes skiing, swimming, skating and playing the piano and trumpet. When spelling in competition, he has a variety of spelling bee merchandise with him as good luck charms, and he passes the time waiting for his turn at the microphone by spelling words given to other contestants. Like his parents, he speaks Mandarin Chinese, but he also speaks Spanish and French. His parents are Lori Liu and Sheldon Wang.
Anqi cherishes his computer time and can often be found surfing the Internet and playing computer games. He adores reading science-fiction and fantasy novels but says he has too many favorite books to even begin listing. Anqi is musically talented and enjoys playing his oboe. His spare time is spent on other kinds of "B"s-he likes biking, bowling, and badminton. When weather allows he enjoys skiing as well. He prefers comedic films and says Garfield: The Movie might be his favorite. If he could meet anyone, he would meet Bill Gates because Anqi is very impressed with the creativity of Microsoft. Perhaps Mr. Gates could also help Anqi with his future career in computers and technology. His parents are Jian Liu and Ping Dong.
Books are a major part of Claire's life. "I am definitely a bookworm," she says of herself. "Reading is my favorite thing to do, especially great novels, such as my favorite series, Harry Potter, which I have read at least 20 times." It's no wonder, then, that the person she most wants to meet is J. K. Rowling, the author of the series. Books aren't her only passion, though. She enjoys all kinds of music and plays tennis. Her favorite words include hwyl, cwm and puisne. Her mother is Saori Zhang, and her father, Tao Zhang, is her spelling coach.
Amy is a cellist and is considering a career as a professional musician like that of her idol, Yo-Yo Ma. Talented in all school subjects, this year Amy competed in Mathcounts at the state level, the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and Texas History Day. She was also named a 2007 William and Dorothy C. Bevan Merit Scholars for achieving a perfect score on the critical reading portion of the SAT as a seventh grader (she is one of only 17 students in the nation to have this distinction). An athlete as well as an academic, she loves basketball and volleyball and is inspired by her hometown sports hero, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. Her parents are Kate Wang and Tim Chyao, who are both engineers.