by Lisa Tome
Joseph Coggins isn't resting on his laurels.
One day after Coggins, a Perryville Middle School seventh grader, was honored by the school and Perryville's Police Chief Allen Miller last week Coggins was focussed on earning a place on the school's Destination Imagination Team.
Coggins, 13, of Port Deposit, was honored locally for scoring "exceptionally high" on a rigorous test. Coggins, son of Kevin and Emily Coggins, was recruited by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth to take a standardized test designed for high schoolers. He scored in the top 25 percent of all the 27,000 students tapped to take the test.
"We're proud of Joseph and his representation of our school in the community and the state. He's a hard worker and we're proud of him," said Perryville Middle principal Shawn Johnson. The school was so proud that they spread the word. Police Chief Miller came to the school to congratulate Coggins and present him with the department's challenge coin. "He seemed like a respectable man," said Coggins.
"I was only told about the award at the assembly. I was very surprised. I took the test about a year ago. I was nervous but I did okay," said Coggins, who likes math, and aspires to be an engineer like his father. "The tests weren't hard. Not really."
Coggins is an honor student. He said he doesn't spend a lot of time studying but pays attention in class and takes notes. Coggins attended three elementary schools including Conowingo Elementary.
He has settled in nicely at Perryville. "I like the people. I like the teachers. It's a nice school. In addition to his scholarly pursuits. He has also been part of the school's Makerspace and Art Clubs. He was so interested in the prospect of being a member of the school's Destination Imagination team that in his spare time, Coggins built a vortex cannon using scrap wood, a trash can and PVC pipe. He made a mallet for the cannon from a sock, duct tape, and pipe.
After he auditioned last week, Coggins was notified on Monday that he did earn a position on the Destination Imagination team.