Two elementary and middle school students are Top 10 national finishers

Perfect scores at winter WordMasters Challenge
Posted on 04/24/2018
WordMasters Challenge

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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

BEAUFORT – Two district elementary school students earned perfect scores in the winter 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 2017-18 academic year’s second meet:

  • Broad River Elementary fourth-grader Jaime Maldonado Najera was among only 24 fourth-graders in the nation with perfect scores.
  • Broad River Elementary fifth-grader Jose Martinez Cerillo was among only 31 fifth-graders in the nation with perfect scores. 

Teacher Patricia Horton coached both Broad River Elementary students.

In addition to individual student honors, teams from two district schools earned Top 10 national rankings:

  • Bluffton Elementary’s top-scoring third-graders tied for fifth in the nation with Coopertown Elementary in Havertown, Pa. 
  • The top-scoring fourth-graders from Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts earned a 10th-place national ranking.

“We’re proud of our two ‘perfect’ students and also of our two student teams who finished in the Top 10 nationally,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “Building a strong vocabulary is a major building block in building strong communication skills.”

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.