Woodhull Math Olympiad Teams in Suffolk Tournament
A group of 20 Woodhull Intermediate School fifth and sixth graders recently participated in the Suffolk County Math Tournament, compiling an impressive set of results.
The Huntington contingent represents the top scoring Math Olympiad students on the two respective grade levels. The challenging event was held on the Stony Brook University campus. About two dozen school districts sent teams to the day-long competition.
The Huntington group was led by SEARCH program chairperson-teacher Maryann Daly. SEARCH teacher Christina Gottlieb, special education teacher Heather Barfuss and fifth grade teacher Keith Meyers accompanied Huntington's two teams, assisting Mrs. Daly to maximize student performance.
In the weeks leading up to the tournament, the Huntington youngsters were relentless in their preparation, often using lunch and recess periods to sharpen their skills.
The morning session featured an individual round of competition. "Each student had to answer ten tricky questions Math Olympiad style during a 30 minute period of time," Mrs. Daly said. "After their answers were collected by supervisors, the entire group gathered in a nearby auditorium to review the questions and offer solutions. Students shared the strategies they had used to arrive at valid solutions."
After a break, each squad of five participated in a team event that required them to solve ten problems in 20 minutes. "It was important that the team captain keep each member focused and organized," Mrs. Daly said. "The problems were more difficult than in past years and the Huntington teams tried their best."
Justin Knowles, a member of last year's Woodhull fifth grade team that finished third in the tournament, participated in the event for the second consecutive year and reached the tie-breaker round where he vied against nine other top young mathematicians from the field of more than 220.
The math competition was so important to Mr. Knowles that he bypassed going with his class on the district's annual sixth grade trip to the Greenkill outdoor education center, instead making the trek with a different class so he could attend tournament at Stony Brook. "The reason being that he didn't want to miss this opportunity to compete in this math tournament, trying, of course, to best his older sister Caitlin, who was a top scoring student two years ago," Mrs. Daly said.
Woodhull's two fifth grade teams consisted of captain Aidan Forbes, Dylan Bluemer, Peter Ciccone, Levi Leach and Amelia Reilly and captain Luke Eidle, Anthony Puglisi, Will Vollmack, Frank Spatafora and Hunter Willis.
The Woodhull sixth grade teams included captain Jacob Strieb, Anthony Emmanuele, Justin Knowles, Nicholas Lanzisero and Miranda Nykolyn and captain Rachel Roday, Michelle D'Alessandro, Kevin Gulizio, Michael Maceluch and Logan Rice.
"I was so proud of all the students who tried their very best and was truly impressed with Justin in his determination and drive to achieve his personal best," Mrs. Daly said. "Congratulations to these young people for going that extra mile!"