New York student makes history graduating high school at 12: ‘He’s really a prodigy’

Isaac Bari graduates. Courtesy Rashidul Bari/CNN

Twelve-year-old Suborno Isaac Bari has graduated from Malverne High School in Malverne, New York, marking him the youngest scholar to ever graduate in the history of Nassau County’s Malverne Union Free School District.

Suborno expressed excitement about his accomplishment during an interview with “Good Morning America”, describing his academic journey as “long” despite bypassing the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grades. He successfully completed the necessary coursework and passed the New York State Regents examinations to graduate.

“It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience,” Suborno said of his high school career. “I met so many great people and I’ve learned a lot in both math and science and other disciplines. But I think I’m ready to move on and pursue my higher education to the best of my ability,” Suborno added.

Rebecca Gottesman, the director of K-12 school counseling at Malverne Union Free School District, who has been in education for 25 years, first met Suborno when he was a fourth grader. She praised the twelve-year-old as a “prodigy.”

“Every year, school counselors are asked on behalf of the students that are applying to these colleges to answer the question, ‘Is this one of your most exceptional students that you’ve ever seen in your career?’ … and I can say without any doubt that Suborno is the most exceptional student I’ve ever met academically,” Gottesman said. “He’s really a prodigy.”

Gottesman explained that the district collaborated with the Bari family to create a tailored plan for Bari. This plan allowed him to take higher-level classes while ensuring he remained integrated with his peers for balanced social and emotional development.

“We entered into an agreement where we would allow him to take high school-level courses but take them at our middle school. So he would come into our middle school as [an] eighth-grader [and take core classes] … and then after he took his morning classes, we would put him on the bus and he would take a bus to our elementary school where he would reintegrate with his fifth-grade peers, which were his same-age peers and participate in fifth-grade electives and after-school activities,” Gottesman explained.

Despite accelerating through grades and managing a split schedule, Bari said that his teachers and fellow students embraced him and provided the space he needed to pursue his interests.

“They treated me just like any other high school student … and that’s how I really wanted to be treated by the community,” the young whiz said.

Gottesman indicated that Bari, who achieved 1500 on the SAT, 34 on the ACT, and completed five AP classes, has significantly impacted the Malverne community as an academic leader. She assured that the young genius was fully prepared for college.

Bari is now heading to New York University on a scholarship to study for a bachelor’s degree in math and physics.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 2, 2024


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