Senior solves way to laptop award


Erin Sheffield

Senior Malachi Kizziar works on the laptop he won.

He scans his Chromebook screen, tapping it occasionally with the eraser of his pencil, before making a mark in the notebook open to his right. He repeats this process between classes and during activity periods, sometimes covering notebook pages with his decoding process, sometimes scrolling through pages of websites’ source codes. However, soon he will no longer look through those source codes on his Chromebook, but instead a new Dell laptop.

Senior Malachi Kizziar completed the Codebreaker competition after only three days of working through the clues. During the competition, which took place in late November, students solved codes, clues and ciphers to win a Dell laptop.

“I’m working in the iConnect center, and part of a clue was the iConnect center,” Kizziar said. “I decided to look into it, and it just went on after that. My friends thought it was very becoming for me. They thought it was the perfect competition for me.”

I wanted to complete this. This was something that I most certainly wanted to finish, and I would try it again.

— Malachi Kizziar, 12

Kizziar said he did not want to quit the competition despite the difficulties of the competition.

“I got frustrated a lot during the process, especially the part where we had to look at the source code of the website, which is basically the building blocks of the website,” Kizziar said. “I didn’t think about quitting. I wanted to complete this. This was something I most certainly wanted to finish, and I would try it again.”

Kizziar said some students believed the competition was a waste of time, but none of them discouraged him from continuing.  

“I don’t think they were necessarily downing on me, but downing on the competition itself,” Kizziar said. “They didn’t really understand what was going on. They just knew it was a flier on the door.”

Kizziar said although the competition was open to the entire school, few students participated.

“I would have liked other competition,” Kizziar said. “It would’ve made the entire thing more lively. It was only 10 to 20 people, and at the very end, people started catching up to what it was.”

Kizziar said he would recommend the competition to anyone if they can compete next year.

I would have liked other competition. It would’ve made the entire thing more lively.

— Malachi Kizziar, 12

“My brother is a junior right now, and my sister is going to become a freshman next year,” Kizziar said. “I would like them to be a part of this competition, too. I would recommend it for people who are willing to learn, for people who are willing to get frustrated and learn from the experience.”

Kizziar said he learned from the challenges of the Codebreaker competition.

“They were like puzzles to me, because it was a problem to answer,” Kizziar said. “Just a bunch of different steps to lead to a final solution that got me to where I needed to be. It certainly made me research different types of codes than those I had already learned. It taught me to go outside what I already knew.”