Eight district elementary and middle school students earned perfect scores in the fall edition of a national vocabulary competition, and a student team from one district school earned an overall Top-10 national finish.
The WordMasters Challenge, the nation’s longest-running language arts competition for elementary and middle school students, holds three meets for nearly 125,000 students during each school year.
“Perfect” students in the 2019 fall meet were third-grader Elliot Pearson (Hilton Head Island Elementary); third-grader Emily Trish (Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts); fourth-grader Robert Eberly (Hilton Head Island Elementary); fifth-grader Luke Haro (Hilton Head Island Elementary); sixth-grader Liam Gibbons (Beaufort Middle); and seventh-graders Fallon Delaney, Mauricio Macias and Brooke Sweigart (Bluffton Middle).
In addition to individual student honors, one district school earned a Top-10 finish nationally. Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary’s 10 highest-scoring fourth-graders scored 186 out of a possible 200 points, good enough to rank No. 8 in the nation.
Students who contributed to the school’s No. 8 national finish were Robert Eberly, McKenzye Doe, Benjamin Drake, Samuel Hughes, Isaac Roman, Rhys Arlett, Mason Dobbs, Isabel Lossada, Caroline Monmonier, Johanna Robinson and Brian Santiago.
“We’re very proud of these students and their teachers,” superintendent Frank Rodriguez said. “A strong vocabulary is an important part of being able to communicate effectively, and these national recognitions show that these students and their teachers are off to a tremendous start.”
The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that encourages students to become familiar with new words that are considerably harder than grade level, then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies that express various kinds of logical relationships.
Although most vocabulary enrichment and analogy-solving programs are designed for use by high school students, WordMasters materials are created for younger students in grades 3-8. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.