Local students place at MATHCOUNTS competition

From left are Teacher Sponsor Zenda Sawyer, Isaac Young, Marvin Zochert of the Alexandria Chapter of the Louisiana Engineering Society, Joshua Chesal, Erica O’Bannon and Noah Martinez.

Natchitoches Chamber’s A+ Coalition sponsored the Natchitoches Magnet School’s MATHCOUNTS team in the annual regional competition Saturday, Feb. 16 at Tioga Junior High. There were 50 students from 5 schools that competed, including Alexandria Country Day School, Grace Christian School, Natchitoches Magnet, Rapides Academy and Tioga Junior High. Students competed in a written test as individuals in two rounds and then one round as a team.

The results of these tests were combined to determine the placement of teams. Natchitoches Magnet was first among the top three teams that will be advancing to the state competition, which will be in Pineville at the Country Inns and Suites Friday, March 22. Joshua Chesal and Isaac Young of Natchitoches Magnet were both among the top six individuals advancing to the state competition with Joshua Chesal placing first and Isaac Young finishing in fifth place among the 50 student competitors. MATHCOUNTS provides engaging math programs to US middle school students of all ability levels to build confidence and improve attitudes about math and problem solving.

On front row from left are Ethan Bumgardner, Noah Martinez, Erica O’Bannon, Lilyasta Laning, Thadeuz Tibbs and Teacher Sponsor Zenda Sawyer. On back row are Calder Deford, Joshua Chesal, Diamond Smith, Wyatt Laning and Isaac Young.

In addition to the testing portion of the competition, some students compete in the Mathbee and Countdown rounds. These rounds are similar to “Jeopardy” in that during the Mathbee (team competition) and Countdown (top 12 individuals) students answered problems that were shown on a slide show and “buzzed” in with remotes. Natchitoches Magnet won the Mathbee and Joshua Chesal (Natchitoches Magnet) won the Countdown round. “It is amazing to watch our Natchitoches Parish middle school students compete at this high level of math within our region,” said Mike Wolff, middle school math advocate for the Chamber A+ Coalition. “The A+ Coalition wishes the Natchitoches Magnet team all the best at the state competition and looks forward to working with our parish middle school students to further instill this high level of passion and excellence in math”

Due to their involvement and success at the regional level, the Chamber A+ Coalition will be presenting a check this spring to Natchitoches Magnet for their use to further promote and support Mathcounts with their math development advancements. The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce helps foster a thriving community through transformative leadership, collaboration and innovation.