Two out of three
MICHIGAN CITY — St. Stanislaus School redeemed itself Thursday when it took home the first-place award in the green division at the annual Math Bowl competition at Walkerton Elementary School.
The Saints placed second last year, following a first-place finish in 2017, which was their inaugural season to participate.
“I am so proud of them,” said Sara Rusboldt, fourth-grade teacher and math bowl team coach at St. Stan’s.
“They worked so hard and put so much time and dedication into the team, and it clearly showed.”
In preparation for the contest, Rusboldt and her co-coach, second-grade teacher Melissa Huhnke, had the team – comprised of students in grades four through six – practice every Thursday in January, and every Thursday and Friday in February.
“They were always here on time and eager to learn,” Rusboldt said. “They wanted to be here. They worked so hard to get the answers correct, and when they didn’t get them right, they wanted to know why.”
Percentages, money, geometry, story problems, patterns and the Pythagorean theorem were just some of the math skills covered during the competition, at which St. Stan’s went up against other schools from throughout the region, including Michigan City’s Lake Hills Elementary.
The students worked in teams of three, alternating throughout four eight-question rounds to solve problems under time constraints of 30, 45 or 60 seconds.
“Some of the questions were difficult, some were very hard,” Rusboldt said.
“Fortunately, we also taught them strategies, like the process of elimination. The sixth-graders were team captains, and in charge of delegating tasks to maintain good time management. But we made sure they knew that if they didn’t know the answer for sure, they should still make an educated guess so they at least had something down when the buzzer went off.”
Each question answered correctly earned the team one point; and it wasn’t until the last points were tallied after the last round that the Saints realized they’d won this year’s math bowl.
“There were many after-school hours and lots of hard work this season,” Rusboldt said, “but when one team member stopped me in the middle of all the chaos Thursday to tell me how much fun she was having, it really made it all worthwhile.”
St. Stan’s Math Bowl Team:
Lilly Green, Fifth Grade
Lydia Green, Fourth Grade
Anastasia Hartnett, Fifth Grade
Lidia Kravetz, Sixth Grade
Madeleine McCarther, Fifth Grade
Zaire McKinney, Fifth Grade
Sidney Ratliff, Fourth Grade
Alexa Reyes, Sixth Grade
Maya Ruiz, Sixth Grade
Aidan Shatat, Fifth Grade
Darek Shatat, Sixth Grade
Carlos Serrano, Sixth Grade
Melissa Huhnke, Coach
Sara Rusboldt, Coach
Diane Borawski, Honorary Coach