Teams from Craik, Matula earn first place Math Challenge honors

Teams from Craik, Matula earn first place Math Challenge honors

Teams from Dr. James Craik and Mary H. Matula elementary schools earned the top spots in the Elementary Math Challenge, held Saturday, April 25 at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. The event is for fourth- and fifth-grade students and is a two-part mathematics challenge that includes both team and individual competitions. Teams from all Charles County public elementary schools competed. The team challenge requires each team to solve four reasoning and problem solving questions within a 30-minute period.

Craik’s fourth-grade team earned first place with a score of 146 out of 21 competing teams. Team members are Gabriel Dinnea, Mackenzie Fox, Mason Hebner, Wyatt Newcomb, Jimmy Olmsted, Alayna Steinmetz and Jordan Surfield. The team coach is Craik fourth-grade teacher Michelle Daggett. Gale-Bailey Elementary School’s fourth-grade team won second place, followed by a team from Mary B. Neal Elementary School in third place.

Matula’s fifth-grade team earned first place with a score of 188 out of 21 competing teams. Team members are Aubrey Alexander, Arya Forohar, Reagan Johnson, Joshua MacDonald, Taylor Peterson, Dylan Tompkins, Emma Vanden Berg and Emily Winkler. The team coach is Matula fifth-grade teacher Erica Hughes. T.C. Martin Elementary School’s fifth-grade team won second place, followed by a team from Gale-Bailey in third place.

In the individual portion of the competition, each team member takes an online test of 30 math problems and has 30 minutes to complete them. The top five individual scores are added to the team score to compute a team’s overall score. Kaelan Parkin from William B. Wade Elementary School was named the first-place individual winner with a score of 24 points at the fourth-grade level, followed by Craik student Jimmy Olmsted in second place with a score of 22 points.

At the fifth-grade level, Gale-Bailey student Grace Landgraf was the first place winner with a score of 26 points. There was a five-way tie for second place in the fifth-grade individual challenge. Craik students Hannah Krauel and Param Jhala tied for second place with a score of 25 points along with Kendra DeFilippo and Zachary Dryden from Malcolm Elementary School, and Blake Baker from C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School.

The top five teams, as well as the top three individuals, at each grade level received a plaque and the top scoring student on each team received a medal. All competing students received a participant ribbon. The annual event is sponsored by the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO). Visit SMECO’s website at for more information.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 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.

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