Future Problem Solving is one of the largest clubs at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ). At one point, one out of every eleven students at the school were involved in FPS. It is part of the culture of that school.
For each of the past five years, the FPS club has welcomed between 100 and 150 members to become involved in research, problem-solving, friendship-building, laughing, and experiences at state and international bowls.
None of the students at TJ would have had the fun and skills development that FPS provides if it were not for the efforts of this year’s Mover and Shaker award recipient. Neither would students from Kilmer Middle School and Marshall High school (both about five miles from TJ) who have also won state bowl honors. FPS spread to those schools, thanks to TJ’s outreach efforts.
Future Problem Solving has a long and honored history at TJ. Fred Lampazzi coached teams in the early 2000s, but when he retired around 2012, FPS almost ended at the school. There was no long-term sponsor or adult to organize registration for competition, buy tickets, and arrange travel and housing to the International Bowl. FPS kept going at TJ thanks to the dedication of one young man.
Daniel Sun was an 11th grader at TJ in 2010. Besides carrying a massive course load, he applied his time, talents, and future problem solving skills to hold the club together. He ensured continuing coaching of FPSers for a year and a half, including the period when he was applying to college. He authored the instruction sheets that all TJ students continue to use, as have been students in three other schools in Northern Virginia.
Daniel impressed Virginia FPS directors like Patty Haskins who says, “he was one of the most dedicated high school juniors with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work; very mature and thoughtful in his dealings with our offices and with the TJ FPS Club members.”
Daniel Sun didn’t give up FPS when he went to college. As a former state champion of Virginia, Daniel has evaluated state competition booklets over the past years since moving on to college and graduate school.
For his generosity and leadership to both the Thomas Jefferson community and the Future Problem Solving Program, the Executive Board of Future Problem Solving of Virginia bestowed the 2017 Mover & Shaker Award to Xioadi Daniel Sun.