Made in America: Ponitz senior a success story
Scholar, athlete, mentor, inventor and friend – all terms that describe Ponitz CTC senior Rustam Saddatov (his friends call him “Ru”). Although he’s only been a student at Ponitz for the past two years, he’s quickly made his mark at the school. Rustam has earned four varsity letters and also carries a full-time college course load, courtesy of the “Seniors to Sophomores” program. The partnership with Sinclair Community College makes it possible for Ponitz students to attend college-level classes both at the school and Sinclair campus, earning both high school and college credits.
“I get bored, so I try to keep myself out of a routine,” Rustam said.
One of his many interests is computers. When Rustam and his family moved to Dayton two years ago, he had decided on a future in computer engineering and technology, and wanted a school that offered a strong program. Enter Ponitz CTC.
“The engineering and technology program here inspired me more than ever before to want to continue to train in computers,” he said.
Not content with book learning, Rustam joined the school’s football and swimming teams. His specialty? Pretty much everything.
“I told my football coach I would play any position, as long as I’m on the field and not the bench,” he said.
Lettering both years, he earned an Honorable Mention and Coaches Award, along with the 2011 Ohio High School Athletic Association Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award. And as a member of the Golden Panther swim team, he set school records in the 200- and 400-meter team relay.
An all-American success story with a twist: Rustam and his family emigrated from Russia in 2005. English is his third language, which he says he learned in three months, mainly by playing online computer games.
Rustam said he has made a lot of friends at Ponitz, and is determined to use the opportunities given to him by the school to their fullest potential. While maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, he works as a math tutor at Sinclair (where he is on the dean’s list) and a mentor to his younger brother. His brother and sister also are DPS students.
“Rustam leads by example,” Ponitz swim coach Ken Kreitzer said. “He’s the kind of kid who holds the door, helps you carry something, cheers for other teams at meets.”
After graduating in May, Rustam will take the 70 college credit hours he’s earned and enter Wright State University as an “almost sophomore,” majoring in computer engineering. He hopes to one day own his own software development company, and work as a motivational life coach.
To Rustam, education “is about using what you know to stay on top. And when you’re on top, you can do whatever you want.”