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It all adds up for elementary school students in SMECO math challenge

Fourth and fifth grade students recently competed in the Elementary Mathematics Challenge sponsored by SMECO and Charles County Public Schools.

Held Saturday, March 25 at Theodore G. Davis Middle School, the challenge consists of 30 individual questions as well as a team portion. The team challenge requires students to work together to solve four multi-step problems within a set amount of time.  The top five individual results are totaled with a maximum of 150 points, and the team portion is worth 150 points, with the total calculated to determine top teams and individual students. 

Fourth-grade individual winners

  • Desmond Warner, first place, Mary H. Matula Elementary School.
  • James Harper, second place, T.C. Martin Elementary School.
  • Paul Wills III, third place, Martin.

Fifth grade individual winners

  • Austin Jarrell, first place, Martin.
  • Hunter Lackey second place, Martin.
  • Jaxon Conley, third place, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School.

The fourth-grade team from Matula earned first place in its category. The team is coached by Christina Caron, learning resource teacher. Team members are McKenzie Brown, Madison Dunn, Jason Falkler, Roman Gibala, Madisyn Millard, Jeanne Vazhappilly and Desmond Warner. The team from C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School, coached by Virginia Basquez, fifth-grade teacher, took second place; Martin’s team came in third and was coached by fourth-grade teachers, Jennifer Daughtery and Kaitlyn Roberson; Arthur Middleton Elementary School’s team, coached by Stefanie Marcuse, fourth-grade teacher, placed fourth; and Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School came in fifth, coached by Corrie Wutka, fourth-grade teacher.  

Martin placed first among the fifth-grade teams in the competition. Nina Beard, fifth-grade teacher, coached the team made up of Jamahl Harper, Austin Jarrell, Hunter Lackey, Autumn Portillo, Renay Smith, William Vailati and Nicholas Williams. Mitchell’s team, coached by Corey Specht, fifth-grade teacher, came in second; William A. Diggs Elementary School placed third and was coached by fifth-grade teacher Jacqueline Stancliff; Barnhart’s team, coached by Basquez took fourth place; and Danielle Nagle, instructional resource teacher, coached the fifth-place team from Higdon.


About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).