Marblehead valedictorian to draw upon experience with Salem State Jazz Band

MARBLEHEAD – Dan Steinbrook, the valedictorian of the Marblehead High Class of 2007, seems to be taking things one year at a time.This year his favorite subject has been his Advanced Placement class in calculus.Next year at Harvard he hopes to take more specialized classes and while officially he is undecided about a major he is leaning toward computer science.Asked his least favorite subject, he hesitates. After all, his grade point average is 4.4 and as he puts it, “I try to make everything I do as much fun as possible.” Finally he says that English Literature is least likely to be his favorite.It turns out that school changed his life mathematically and made him this year’s valedictorian instead of next year’s.As a student at the Bell School, Steinbrook was part of an experimental class that combined students in Grades 2 and 3. Students were supposed to stay in that class for two years but Steinbrook’s work was so strong that his teacher promoted him to Grade 4 at the end of his first year, making him a year and a half younger than his classmates.”I’m the only one that happened to, that I know of,” he says.Like other advanced placement students, Steinbrook was unable to participate in the popular Senior Project program this spring. Marblehead High’s most challenging classes schedule exams in May, the month when Senior Project students leave school for real life jobs.He’s hoping to make up for that with his summer job in information technology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.Steinbrook’s hobby is music. He plays the saxophone and clarinet in the Marblehead High band. Last year he played in a student chamber music ensemble with two seniors and since they graduated he’s moved from classical music to the Salem State College Jazz Band.Performing with the jazz band inspired part of the valedictory address he will give at Sunday’s graduation ceremonies. This year the band performed a tribute to jazz legend John Coltrane on the 40th anniversary of his death, and Steinbrook plans to draw on Coltrane’s life and thoughts in his speech.His parents, Richard and Marcia Steinbrook, and his older sister Hillary will attend the Marblehead High graduation. Next week he and his parents will attend Hillary’s graduation from Harvard.Next fall he’ll be at Harvard himself. It isn’t just the classes he’s looking forward to, but also the unique Harvard community, “the chance to meet other people from all over the world.”

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