La Plata It’s Academic team wins regional competition

La Plata It’s Academic team wins regional competition

The La Plata High School It’s Academic team earned the title of Charles County competition winner in the annual regional event held Dec. 4. The three-member team of Captain Tanner Wyant, Jenna Burtch and Margaret Stine won with a score of 280 points in the championship round against teams from St. Charles and Westlake high schools.

The Westlake team earned second place, followed by St. Charles in third place.

The team from La Plata also includes students Samantha Yorio (alternate), Liliana Adamo, Aubrey Alexander, Michelle Ameyaw, William Anderson, Savanna Crooks, Ashton Gordon, Jordan Harris, Connor Keech, Brandon Luton, Madelyn Nicholl, Aastha Patel, Ava Payton, Heather Roberts, Eric Valentine and Emma Vanden Berg. Coaches of the team include La Plata science teacher Michelle Schoenbauer and John Holmes, a retired La Plata teacher.

Each year, the county regional winner goes on to compete in a regional match. The La Plata team will compete against St. Albans and Stone Bridge high schools in a match set to air April 4 on NBC4.

As the second-place regional winner, the team from Westlake earned a chance to compete in a regional match set to take place next fall. Westlake students Captain Hanna Schaffner, Skyler Adams and Elijah Watkins competed at the county event.

Completing the Westlake team are student members Marco Moore (alternate), Gillian Gibson, Deidre Gilliard, Madison Parrish and Ashley Rodriguez. Coaches of the team are Natalie Finch-Howard, social studies teacher at Westlake, and Amanda D’Onofrio, a Westlake Latin teacher.

Representatives from the Greater Waldorf Jaycees presented the La Plata team with a $500 scholarship for its first-place win. All other high school teams received a $250 scholarship from the Jaycees. It’s Academic features rounds of play in which three team members from each competing school participate. Championship rounds are held to determine the overall winner.

The other three-member teams who competed at the event, as well as students who complete each school team, include: 

Henry E. Lackey High School – Captain Annie Landgraf, Brynna Bode and Sarah Harman. Completing the Lackey team are students Tamea Jackson (alternate), Jerry Harley, Jayden Lockley, Morgan Martin, Jacob Reingruber, Sahana Venkatesh and Christina Walker. Lackey social studies teacher James Hojnowski is the team coach. 

Maurice J. McDonough High School – Captain Nicholas Long, Olivia Johnson and Jake Burgess. Other members of the McDonough team include students Daniel Mears (alternate), Samuel Chernoff, Jason Haley, Cameron Miskell, Mason Carney, Collin Hicks, Gillian Cayabyab and Semira McFarlane. Joanna Hobbs, McDonough’s library media specialist and Mary Howard, McDonough science teacher, coach the team. 

North Point High School – Captain Landon Garrity, Sophia Carpentier and Ishaan Chada. Other members of the North Point team include students Kelsey Njembu (alternate), Christine Baker, Angela Bautista, James Olmsted, Adebola Oluyede, Karra Paulson, Nehemiah Strawberry, Hooria Umer, Yusra Umer and Amber Wachowski. Coaches of the team are North Point Spanish teachers Deen Stewart and Moriah Rochlinski. 

St. Charles High School – Captain Lausanne Oliver, Rylee Josephs and Jamie Fleury. Completing the team from St. Charles are students Christian Gomez, Delani Smith, Andrea Eichstadt and Faith Washington. Coaches of the team are Matt Howard, a social studies teacher at St. Charles, and Meghan Potter, an English teacher at St. Charles. 

Thomas Stone High School – Captain Clayton Groves, Eryn Huber and Johnathan Bryce Powell. Other members of the team include Stone students Faith Meadows (alternate), Adebola Akinwale, Kyla Guthrie, Lacey Kyte and Riley Seaman. Nancy Jeffrey, a German teacher at Stone, coaches the team.

The Dec. 4 county competition will air on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12 starting next week at 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The event also will be posted on the school system website at

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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