It was called MathFest and held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Complex.
“As far as we know, we have the only Math Team in an elementary school in the county,” said AES Principal Patti Johnson. “We took our data from SAT’s, art and our Star math test and created a math team. We asked these kids if they wanted to join. They did so assistant principal Billy Jenkins and I worked with them and got them prepared for competition.”
They took 44 students (second, third and fourth-graders) to competition and they performed outstanding.
They had two second-graders (Sydney Chamness and Daniel Welch) to finish in the top 15. They had five third-graders (Dylan Basden, Perkins Carden, Reid Eastis, Emma Grace Kirby and Erica McCay) to finish in the top 15 and a state winner from the third grade — JD Thompson. They had three fourth-graders (Kaitlyn Hilyer, Daniel Tully and Alicia Woods) to make the top 15. They were all awarded medals and Thompson was awarded a trophy.
Thompson will compete at regionals in Atlanta.
Other students who attended MathFest included Owen Dailey, Nathan Phillips, Lane Tibbs, Landon Vann, Michael Babcock, Chase Isbell, John Michael Norris, James Phalon, Emily Tibbs, Jennifer Turner, Logan VanVleck, Griffin Whitehead, Landon Bothwell, Asianna Blount, Katie Bowlin, Riley Collier, Lindsey Crowe, Carlos Escobedo, Caleb Evans, Alyssa Farmer, Lindsey Halstead, Jeffery Hardrick, Kenzie Hare, Hayley Huckbay, Antonio Pierce, Hunter Reynolds, Jose Rodriquez, Mitchell Slezak, Richard Smith, Lauren Staples, Madison Vann, Caitlin VanPelt and D’Angelo Williams.
“One of these years, we hope to start a county competition with math teams,” Johnson said. “We are very excited for these students who competed at the state level. They did an awesome job, even though they were scared to death because they had never done anything like that before. We had a few ideas what they were going up against at state competition and we practiced with them here at the school. It was a very complicated tournament so we are very proud of our students. It was a lot of word problems.”
Jenkins said Thompson actually won the third-grade state title by solving fifth-grade questions.
Johnson and Jenkins both praised the Ashville Youth Association for postponing games for that afternoon so the students on the Math Team could go and compete at the state level.
“We also thank all the parents and grandparents who went to support this new team at our school,” Johnson said. “Our Math Team is something we want to keep for years and years to come. When you look at our data, our math is lacking. We have done so much to improve reading and we’ve left math on the backburner. So, we are really trying to promote math.
Johnson added that she is planning on hosting a math bee at her school in the future.