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More than a dozen students will represent Hardin County this weekend as they put their knowledge and recall skills to the test at a state competition.
Sixteen local middle school students will compete in the Governor’s Cup State Finals, an academic competition in Lexington. Their challenge comes in the form of a written assessments — subject-specific tests such as science and math. Participants advance to the state level by ranking in the top five in regional competition.
Hardin County is represented in each written assessment category. In addition, St. James Catholic Regional School and T.K. Stone Middle School will compete in a quick recall competition similar to TV show “Jeopardy!”
Most subjects feature several local students, but area competitors in the arts and humanities assessment swept the category. Placing first to fifth in regional competition, Grace Vowels of Bluegrass Middle School, Taylor Senay of T.K. Stone, Elizabeth Lemons of J.T. Alton, Sarah Erckenbrack of St. James and Gracie Hall of East Hardin will compete at state in the category.
Hall has been an academic team member since she was a fourth-grader at Creekside Elementary School. She’s been working toward a trip to state since she started.
“I’m a little nervous but I’m also excited because I’ve wanted to go to state since I was in the fourth grade,” she said.
Erckenbrack has competed at the state level before, and with the quick recall competition as well, “it’s going to be a bit more special” this year, she said.
The language arts assessment also mostly features local students, with Vowels, Lemons, Molly Emdee of St. James, and Aaron Bell of East Hardin competing.
This is the first trip to state for Lemons, and she said she’s interested to see what it is like to test in that environment and how she’ll do. She said she’s studied harder this year than she ever has in the past.
Vowels previously has competed at state. She said she was nervous last year at the competition, but she now knows what to expect, including the nature of the tests.
“You always think the test is harder than it’s going to be,” she said.
Science assessment also features four local students: Jacob Dvorjak and Garrett Kasey from St. James, Jacob Peters from West Hardin and Rachel Rohrer of Bluegrass.
Peters said written assessment allows students to “expand outside of a buzzer and a piece of paper,” referring to the tools of quick recall.
Peters said he’s nervous about being his school’s sole representative at the state competition, and he’s slightly in disbelief, too.
“Two years ago if you told me I was going to go to state I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said.
Dvorjak and Kasey also will compete in the social studies assessment, along with Jordan Hockenberry of T.K. Stone.
Representing T.K. Stone at state is also Lillie Shaw in the composition category, and Aaron Prather and Aaron Martin in math assessment. Kevin Young of Bluegrass also will compete in math.
While many students mentioned nervousness as they contemplated the upcoming weekend, Martin has a relaxed way of looking at the exam.
“It’s also a test that doesn’t count as a grade,” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.