Nathan Bossé’s commitment to excellence as a senior in high school is an admirable quality, but it is equaled by his commitment to service in his Classical Christian Academy community and beyond.
Bossé is quick to point out there are many others at CCA who are qualified for honors, and suggests that his 12 years there probably served as a tie-breaker.
So add humility to his character traits.
His family has a long history at CCA. Three of his four siblings graduated there, his father was previously assistant headmaster for several years, and his mother has been the school’s business manager since 2012. But Bossé‘s history at the school is decidedly his own.
He will graduate as a co-valedictorian, and when he presented his senior thesis recently, the school’s board acknowledged him as an intellectual and spiritual leader to younger students.
In the Coeur d’Alene community, he has volunteered at Kootenai Health and a local food bank, and intends to expand his service offerings next fall when he begins a gap year before enrolling at Vanderbilt University.
Bossé said the influence of the school and its instructors have been instrumental to his success. CCA, a K-12 program in Rathdrum, promotes an attitude of service and provides an environment where older students are expected to work as mentors and role models to those in earlier grades.
“Because my parents worked here,” Bossé said, “I was around the high school side of campus even when I was younger, and I always looked up to the older kids. They were kind to everyone, and their attitude of service set a precedent for the younger kids. I got a heart of service just from watching, and I learned that I need to be mindful of how I speak and act around others, especially the young kids. That’s definitely not unique to me, though, because that attitude is shared by my classmates.
“It will be difficult to leave because there is such community here with classmates and teachers and the younger grades. The teachers especially have been amazing people, pouring their knowledge and experience into me for 12 years of my life. I will be stepping away from CCA, but the foundation of the relationships I’ve built here isn’t going to collapse.”
Among all of Bossé’s accomplishments, his work in the CCA robotics program especially stands out.
Said robotics coach Deanna Finley: “I have known Nathan since he was in fourth grade, and he has always been an amazing student. He showed an aptitude and interest in robotics even then, and any student who does research at that early age is very rare.”
By Bossé’s first year in high school, Finley had put him on the programming team, and during his junior year he became the lead programmer.
In 2020, he was one of 10 students out of 3,400 around the world to earn the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Challenge Dean’s List Award. FIRST is an international youth organization that puts on robotics competitions.
“He’s a phenomenal programmer, but he is also a great mentor, working with students K-8 as well as his high-school team. He cares about the future of the team that he’s graduating from, and not just himself,” Finley said.
During his gap year, Bossé plans to continue working with the CCA robotics teams before he heads to college, volunteer and get some real-world work experience.
He is interested in engineering and robotics, but also in the humanities, an interdisciplinary approach that has been nurtured in his academic program at CCA, which stresses to students that whatever you learn can be applied.
And apply it, Bossé certainly will.
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