Oh, Dang

Senior Spotlight: Denny Dang

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Vu Tran

Denny Dang is a person who wants to put himself out for others to see. With the influence of engineer teacher Jason Franzenburg, “The main thing is he’s happy, he is the person who you want to be around,” Frazenburg said.

Vu Tran, Reporter

Picture a freshman going through high school, having no complete idea of what he wants to be in the future. Then engineering comes along and that is what sparked an interest to become an engineer as a professional career, along with subjects that have pushed this interest forward. 

That freshman is now senior Denny Dang. With his last year of high school, Dang is using his time to prepare himself for college. 

When talking about his current subjects Dang said, “Robotics, we have many challenges when we’re designing, building, and prototyping the robot, so those challenges are good, it helps me learn, and  helps me teach other people who are new to robotics.”

With the influence of Dang’s favorite subjects, it has helped him pursue the path to the college he wants to go to after high school.

“I like the engineering concept, math is also something that I like, along with science as well,” Dang said. “I will be going to Iowa State, majoring in electrical engineering, and then I will probably be having an internship or apprenticeship [John Deere or an engineering company].”

Before pursuing engineering, Dang said that he debated if he should become a surgeon or enter a different type of field, but the encouragement by West’s engineering teacher, coach Jason Franzenburg, has helped lead Dang to the engineering side.

“My encouragement is more of a push than a pull,” Franzenburg said. “I know I don’t want to come in super hard but I push him to try new things.”

Franzenburg described Dang as being happy-go-lucky, having a good demeanor, being 99% percent happy, and carrying a good energy. He saw that Dang wants to learn and has seen him acquire lots of skills. This year especially surprised Franzenburg, as Dang really got his hands on the robot, learned pneumatics, electronics and he’s learning to read code.

“He has been in some of my classes, he has accomplished class tasks and assignments and projects,” Franzenburg said. “I think he’s already taught himself more than he thought this year, than I taught him.” 

Dang has met many people in robotics, one of them being a senior Aidan Crispin. Crispin shared some memories that he has made of Dang while in robotics.

“He’s great in robotics, he’s kinda learning how to teach the younger people what he does,” Crispin said. “Obviously both him and I being seniors we have to pass on knowledge to the younger people.”

When other students needed help Dang was there to mentor them. Crispin described his observations of Dang becoming a mentor with other students. 

“When I watch him with other students, he’s kind of patient, he talks them through, what they’re trying to do and helps them find a solution on their own without trying to give out the answer of what they should do,”  Crispin said.

Though still learning, Dang is getting the gist of the expectations in robotics. Being very sharp academically as well has helped Dang get through the class smoothly.

“Teacher to student perspective, he is very coach-able,” Frazenburg said. “He won’t resist what you’re trying to give him and he is learning to take constructive criticism better.”