Ten BCSD elementary and middle schools earned perfect scores

Students earn top 10 finishes at national WordMasters Challenge
Posted on 01/17/2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Students earn perfect scores in national competition; teams earn Top 10 finishes

BEAUFORT – Ten district elementary and middle school students earned perfect scores in the fall edition of a national vocabulary competition, and student teams from two district schools earned overall Top 10 national finishes.

The WordMasters Challenge, the nation’s longest-running language arts competition for elementary and middle school students, holds three meets for nearly 150,000 students during each school year.  In the 2017 fall meet:

  • One third-grader – Henry Platt of Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary – was among only 14 third-graders in the United States with perfect scores.
  • Eight fourth-graders – James Anderson, Camden Kennedy and Jack Marshall of Bluffton Elementary; Ansley Perrenoud of M.C. Riley Elementary; Bryna Haley, Connor McMorrow and Jenna Schoenstra of River Ridge Academy; and Coleman Jacobi of Red Cedar Elementary – were among 86 fourth-graders nationally with perfect scores.
  • One seventh-grader – Evelyn Roque of Bluffton Middle – was among only nine seventh-graders nationally with perfect scores.

In addition to individual student honors, two schools earned Top 10 finishes nationally:

  • Bluffton Elementary’s 10 highest-scoring fourth-graders averaged 193 out of a possible 200 points, good enough to rank No. 2 in the nation out of 292 participating schools.  Those students were: James Anderson, Camden Kennedy, Miley Victoria King, Jack Marshall, Anna Grace Morris, Josef Prochazka, Camila Ribera, Kiera Taylor, Adrian (AJ) Ullman, Justin Wallace and Aiden Zanandreas.
  • Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary’s 10 highest-scoring fifth-graders averaged 180 out of a possible 200 points, good enough to ranked No. 7 in the nation out of 313 participating schools.  The eight top-scoring fifth-graders were Hannah Dye, Matt Perdue, Naijara Alvarez, Brody Cook, Jack Fielding, Lillian Frenzel, Nathaniel Greenberg and Charles Brennen Powell.  Right behind but with identical scores were Ronin Clark, Sophia Lazor, Jack Linkimer, Taylan Olcer, Mason Petty, Alejandro Ramos, Elena Richard and Jackson Voekel. 

            “We’re so proud, not only of these outstanding students but also of their teachers,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “Communication skills are critical to academic success, and building a strong vocabulary is a major component of that success.”

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.