Senior achieves perfect UIL score


Darian Simmons

Senior Derrick Martin has racked up in UIL awards over the past four years.

Shaleigh Hebert, Writer

Achieving a personal goal is a great feeling, but making history is an unforgettable moment that this senior got to experience. On March 30, at the District UIL meet, senior Derrick Martin became the first person in the school’s history to receive a perfect score on a Computer Science test. 

He has participated in UIL Computer Science for four years, two of which he served as the Captain. He also competed in Mathematics this year and is no stranger to UIL contests, having devoted hours of his time toward practice and contests.

As a result of his devotion to UIL, preparation is almost religious to him. In total, he has put roughly 2,500 hours, or 15 weeks, into Computer Science. According to Martin, the Computer Science team has worked hard from the beginning. 

“I don’t like to lose, so I go to five practices a week and over holidays about two or three (counting mathematics) totaling around 10 hours a week,” Martin said. “During the half days after Harvey, my team and I were at the school practicing every morning from 5 a.m. to when school started. 

Competing in any UIL event can be nerve-wracking, especially being a senior at a district level meet. Going into the test, Martin was confident that he would do well. 

“I had taken easily hundreds of tests before and done plenty well in the past,” Martin said. “I was just hoping to make a good enough score to make my teammates and myself happy.” 

After competing, one can be left wondering how well they did or what placements they received. According to Martin, after he took the test, he felt that he had not missed any questions, but that this feeling normally doesn’t last. 

“I had felt that way about plenty of tests before only to find out I missed one or two questions because of silly mistakes,” Martin said. “But when I found out I had made a perfect score I was incredibly happy, and as I mentioned before after getting close so many times, I was just relieved that I pulled through.” 

Hard work paying off is a feeling many people strive to obtain. For Martin, making a perfect score confirmed that all the hours and work he has put into UIL did exactly that. He has also been to State twice, once as an alternate and once last year as the Team Captain, placing fourth individually and third as a team. He also qualified for State again this year and will compete in Austin next week. 

“It’s the result people work years for and feel that they’ll never see, and I finally have seen it,” Martin said. “It was just a relief that it happened considering I would only have three chances this year and it’s my final year to do UIL.” 

Making personal and team goals is an important factor in being successful. According to Martin, he plans on going far in UIL Computer Science and Mathematics this year. 

“As far as Computer Science goes, I hope to make a perfect score at State as well this year and lead my team to a State Championship,” Martin said. 

Martin plans on following his footsteps in high school by pursuing a career related to his UIL events. 

“The future of UIL related events for me is two things: teaching the younger kids in Computer Science now to hopefully be better than me someday and doing college competitive programming,” Martin said. “I plan to get a degree and job in the field of Computer Science, possibly a minor or something to do with Mathematics as well.”