By Superintendent Dr. David Leach,
Warwick Valley Central School District
First grade student Aaron Frankovic’s favorite subjects are science and math. He loves farming with his family and, by the way, he’s also a racecar driver!
“I was as surprised as anyone to find out I had a racecar driver in my class,” said Aaron’s teacher, Ms. Kerry Bohan. “I noticed immediately that Aaron is always very prepared for class, always knows what he needs to do, and participates. Then he started coming in on Mondays and saying things like, ‘I was in Maryland racing this weekend,’ and he has his trophies to show the class.”
Ms. Bohan said that Aaron is very proud of his high-octane hobby, and that his classmates enjoy hearing about his events. He even has a few first-place finishes under his belt already.
“He’s able to talk about his racing success with his classmates in a way that’s not bragging. He shares really cool things with the class,” said Bohan.
Aaron has been racing in a junior drag racing league for just over a year. The league is affiliated with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), a governing body that hosts events in the U.S. and Canada.
Membership in the junior drag racing league offers kids ages five to 17 opportunities to race in weekly sanctioned events at many of NHRA’s 130 member tracks. Racers earn points – think NASCAR – toward track championships in their age groups, and point leaders represent their tracks at conference finals.
“I drive a half scale dragster, and it’s a family activity,” said Aaron, who explained that both his mom and dad are involved members of his racing team.
We’re not talking about a go-kart here either! Aaron’s dragster is a powerful, half-scale version of the Top Fuel dragsters you see on television. The cars are outfitted with a five-horsepower, single-cylinder engines, and some junior dragsters can reach speeds of 85 mph. That’s a 7.9 second eighth-mile for you racing fans out there! In Aaron’s age group, speeds are a little more modest but still exhilarating.
“In my car I can go pretty fast, up to 45 miles per hour,” said Aaron, with a playful grin.
“When he talks about racing, his face lights up,” said Bohan. “It’s not just his incredible knowledge of cars and fixing his equipment that’s so impressive, either. Aaron’s also taken complete ownership of his passion and created his own small business to support his racing!”
Aaron and his family launched Fast Greens – Fueling the Future, a company offering locally-grown microgreens from organic seeds planted in organic soil. Aaron and his family grow, harvest, package and deliver their veggies, which include broccoli, radish, sunflower, and speckled pea microgreens.
“I love growing things and I love farming. We harvest our microgreens every Thursday,” said Aaron, who uses the profits from Fast Greens to help cover the expenses that come along with the sport.
Has Ms. Bohan tried the microgreens?
“I have, and they are delicious,” she said. “I’ve put them in my salads, my soups.”
Aaron says he does miss school and seeing everyone in person, but that being part of the Distance Learning Academy has been going well. He’s looking forward to the day when everyone can be back in their buildings together. In the meantime, Aaron is also looking forward to more upcoming weekend race dates, including a championship in Tennessee.
“Aaron is a very dedicated person,” said Ms. Bohan. “You can see it in how he approaches learning in the classroom and through his love of racing!”
There’s no doubt Aaron’s talents and commitment will take him far… or that he’ll get there fast!
Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the “Superintendent’s Spotlight” on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. “Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, face challenges, and are role models to their peers.