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New Highland academic team takes first in region

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By Kelly Cantrall

It has been a season of firsts for the New Highland Elementary School academic team, including finishing first for the first time in regional competition.

Following a district win in February, New Highland won the regional Governor’s Cup competition.

Both the quick recall and future problem-solving teams won first, and several students competed in written assessment testing in various subjects. Teams are assigned points for each student or team who places, academic team coach Melanie Barnes said.

“You have to have a lot of winners in a lot of areas to be able to take it,” Barnes said.

The team prepared differently this year by having multiple teachers work in their specialty areas with participants, instead of Barnes working exclusively with them all.

“Our approach was more specialized,” she said.

Fifth-grader Jessica Mitchell said she attributed the success to extra studying and multiple coaches. She placed first in the arts and humanities written assessment.

“It’s everybody’s dream to place in something really big,” she said.
Barnes said she is proud of students and staff for their hard work.
“I was absolutely thrilled out of my mind,” she said of winning the competition.

Alex Troupe, a fifth-grader on the future problem-solving team, said he was confident going into the competition but experienced a reaction similar to his teacher’s.

“It felt just like heart-stopping,” he said.

As members of the quick recall team, fifth-graders Nathaniel Judd and Caleb Buchanan acknowledged the region championship required success in all areas to win as a unit.

“I felt pretty good about myself and my team,” Buchanan said.

Other members of the championship team are Lydia Swartz, Paul Kotarski, Mason Bryant, Alia Bradley, Dreyk Inman, Emma Pena, Nathan Brown, Nicole Webster, Morgan Cain, Madison Fogle, Samara Haight, Stephanie Conrad, Elaina Pena and Erica McClain.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747.