WUE Students Shine In Local, Regional And National Competitions
West U. Elementary has earned the Texas Business and Education Coalition Honor Roll School Award, earned by less than five percent of the more than 8,000 public schools in Texas. This honor — coupled with the school’s top rating as an Exemplary School tied to the more rigorous testing standards of TAKS instated by the TEA four years ago — recognizes West U. Elementary as one of the best public schools in Texas. West U. Elementary students also racked up an extensive range of awards as the school year concluded.
Leah Vogel, a fourth-grade pupil in Kathy Daugherty’s fourth-grade class, achieved a perfect score at the national Continental Math League competition. Vogel has claimed first place since her second-grade year and has represented West U. Elementary in H.I.S.D’s Perspective for three consecutive years.
Prior to the national competition, a school-wide Continental Math League competition was held. Grade-level winners included (fifth grade) Peter Marks, Tyler Gamble, George Wilkinson Clayton Little, Gavin Martin, Sydney Marvin, Henry Hoang and Marina Finley; (fourth grade) Leah Vogel, Alex Hammerman, Kaede Uesugi, Ulrica Wang, Phillip Tan, Ryan Granberry, Peyton Ross, Clara Tan, Roger Mao, Thomas Gardner and David Alexander; (third grade) Evan Eisenberg, Lena Musallam, Gwendelyn Butler, Jad Yakan, Michael Hoyal, Alan Ho, Max Lee, Sophia Lee and Zhang Diayao; and (second grade) Julia Waller, Ah Nguyen, Pavan Shukla, Laurel McKelvey, Dylan May, Alexander Nguyen, Spencer Huston, Trinity Reilly and Sullivan Brem.
Also in the area of mathematics, students competed throughout the year in the Elementary Math Olympiad. Fifth-grade students Peter Marks and Gregory Mifflin ended the year ranked in the nation’s top ten by consistently solving unusual and difficult mathematics problems with tremendous creativity.
Third-grade pupil Pragya Mishra earned first place at H.I.S.D.’s Central Region Spelling Bee. Mishra qualified for the regional competition at West U. Elementary’s grade-level competition in December.
West U. Elementary Name That Book teams focused on intricate details of dozens of designated books, and the school’s third-, fourth- and fifth-grade team won second place at H.I.S.D.’s district-wide competition. Representing West U. Elementary in the book reading and remembering competition were Matt Hwang, Emily Hwu, Jack Mason, Amina Matin, Samuel Tekie, Cameron Chan and team alternate Amelia Price. The support team included Isaac Winter and Luke Wuthrich, as well as Gabriel Carolan, Felicia Oentoro, Jun Park, Aine Carolan, Yousef Gaber, Willem Mills and Eli Winter. This was the second year the school participated in the competition. Team co-chairs were Madeline Coblenz and Cathy Winter.
Members of West U. Elementary’s kindergarten through second-grade team also excelled in H.I.S.D.’s district-wide competition, representing the school’s first-ever participation in the lower-grades meet. Taking top honors in a competition decided by the final question were members Caroline Burnett, Charlotte Harrington, Carson May, Lauren May, Trinity Reilly and Laura Tan, supported by alternates Andrew Hindman and Gracie Marshall. Spearheading the kindergarten through second-grade program were co-chairs Cindy Burnett and Jessamy Harrington, and team sponsor for all grade levels was Polly Kotarba, West U. Elementary’s librarian.
Participating in the H.I.S.D. Central District Science Fair were third-grade students Sophia Li, Matthew Watowich and Celine Patel, fourth graders Shruti Sharma, Jung Bin Na, Chris Oh, Roger Mao, Jamie Lin and Maya Haadipulro, and fifth-grade pupils James Olivas, Eugenia Bruzual, Lauren Boots, Lauren Shiller, Emma Zeringue, Kennedi Davis and Jared Carmona.
Taking first place in the PBS Reading Rainbow first-grade competition was Dan DiMuzio. Reading Rainbow is designed to encouraging students to become writers and illustrators. DiMuzio’s book is now entered in a national PBS Reading Rainbow competition, and winners will be announced in coming months after judging is completed.
Also recognized for their writing talents were five West U. Elementary students — Meg Ashman, Arisa Sadeghpour, Shane Hauser, Wyatt Macicek and Olivia Zhang — who were selected by Writers In The Schools to have their works published in The 20th Annual Young Writers Reading. The winning authors were chosen from more than 18,000 student entries from 350 classrooms and community centers across Houston.