The marathon runners in Champaign weren't the only folks sweating and persevering this past weekend. 3000 mathletes, including 10 from the South Naperville Homeschool Math Team, descended on the University of Illinois campus for the annual Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics State Competition. Student competing at the ICTM state finals must place or meet minimum qualifying scores at regional events held throughout the state in March in order to advance to the state finals.
Adair L's minivan squealed into the Illini Garage Mahal after an almost all night drive from a family vacation in Texas. Adair, S. Nap's only freshman, contributed to the team's highest finish of the day, a third place in the Calculator Team contest. The five person team included soph Jack R, juniors Julia N and Ryan M, and senior Andy F. After barely squeaking into the state competition on a minimum qualifying score, Jack R rebounded and bested 110 other competitors to finish a strong fourth place individually in the Geometry contest. Charles S and Landon T concluded their high school math competitive careers by teaming together for a hard fought 5th place finish in the Junior/Senior Two Person Team Event. Julia N and Ryan M led a capable junior class that included Jenny Y and Nathan D in the Algebra 2 competition. Their four score combined total landed them in 8th place as a team. South Naperville formed this year with the blessing, encouragement and support of Cornerstone Homeschool Math Team. Cornerstone, out of Carol Stream, captured the Division 1A State Overall Championship for the fifth year in a row.
South Naperville's Middle School team proved equally stellar in their inaugural season. The six person team faced down teams twice their size at the March Junior High Math Contest hosted by IMSA. Rowan M, Joseph L, Hannah W and Zachary L took top honors in the 7th grade team contest while Rowan M captured second place individually. Nathan R finished third in the 8th grade individual competition. All half dozen kids finished in the top 50% nationally in the MOEMS (www.moems.org) math contest. Nathan R also received a silver pin for being in the top 10% nationwide. MOEMS is a once monthly contest held over five months. Last year, 150,000 kids from 6000 clubs participated in MOEMS.
The middle school kids performed similarly well in MathCounts competition. Last year, MathCounts banned homeschool teams from the team portion of competition. After huge national outcry, they amended that decision and banned only new homeschool teams pending a full review of the policy for next year's competition. The team competed at the Joliet chapter regionals held at Heritage Grove school in Plainfield, where chair Richard Sinnott graciously agreed to score S. Naperville's team results on an "unofficial" basis. The four person team of Nathan R, Rowan M, Joseph L and Hannah W "unofficially" won that portion of the competition and finished the day overall in "unofficial" second place. Homeschoolers are allowed to compete and advance as individuals and the Joliet chapter sent the two highest scoring individuals who are not a part of the winning team on to state competition. Nathan R, finishing third individually and second in the Countdown round, earned the top individual slot to advance to state competition held in Matteson, IL on March 12. He had a great time there.
Emily Sault, veteran homeschool mom and fixture in the Naperville home educating community, coached the middle school club this year. Judi Newman (http://mathtutorjudi.com/) assisted in providing individual support and coaching where needed. Regina Macwan led the high school club and was assisted by Marla Sheldon. The team takes a well-deserved break until mid-September when they will resume practicing on Tuesdays 2-4p at Book Rd. Baptist Church, just south of 104th St on Book Rd in Naperville. All are welcome to participate and inquiries can be sent to Holly Ramsey at firstname.lastname@example.org for the middle school team and Regina Macwan for the high school team.