Apple CEO Tim Cook’s hometown newspaper, the Mobile Press-Register, has written a long piece on Cook’s life growing up in rural Robertsdale, Ala., (pop. 2,300) before he became famous.
Turns out he was regarded as something of a genius even before he joined IBM in 1994 and began the better-publicized portion of his life. So smart, in fact, that he complained that his high school chemistry teacher was a slacker:
The only student smarter than Cook in his Class of 1978, at least according to the grading sheets, was Teresa Prochaska Huntsman, who became their class valedictorian. Cook would be salutatorian.
In their senior year, Huntsman said, she and Cook both began to worry that they weren’t “learning enough” from their chemistry teacher. The teacher, she said, seemed focused on giving quick notes, then dismissing everyone to gym.
According to Huntsman, she and Cook, fearing that they’d be lost in college chemistry in a year or two, went to their counselor, asking to be placed in a tougher class. The counselor told them — the two highest achieving seniors — not to worry.
Both students went on to study industrial engineering at Auburn. Huntsman now works as an application developer analyst in Boise, Idaho.
A couple of month ago, Robertsdale declared Dec. 10 to be “Mr. Timothy D. Cook Day” in the town. Mayor Charles Murphy told the paper, “To be the CEO of one of the major companies in the world is a big deal.”
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