LOCKHART — The third annual county-wide academic challenge meet was held Friday morning at Lockhart school.
The competition was separated into two categories — one for grades 3-5 and another for sixth grade. After a morning of competition, the winner for grades 3-5 was the team from Foster Park Elementary School, which was led by FPES math teacher Sally Inman. The winning sixth grade team was from Lockhart School, led by art teacher Tammy McKnight.
McKnight said she was very proud of her team and they were proud of themselves.
“They went down the hall with their trophy and showed it to the rest of the class,” McKnight said. “Then it ended up on the lunch table with them.”
McKnight said the team began practicing in September, and they practiced two days a week for 30 minutes each practice. Academic challenge teams must include at least 15 students, as they are separated into groups of five, and five students compete in each round.
“It’s a struggle here because of numbers,” McKnight said, explaining that there are less than 30 students in Lockhart’s entire sixth grade class.
Despite the numbers, however, the Lockhart sixth graders prevailed. To prepare for the challenge, the team played the school’s Battle of the Brains team — consisting of seventh and eighth graders. McKnight said the key to preparation was repetition of the questions. She also said that team members took the competition very seriously.
“They were very competitive over their points,” McKnight said, mentioning that points were tallied after each practice. “Every week they all would ask, ‘How many have I got?’”
Camille Robinson, Union County School District Director of Special Services and Gifted and Talented, said the competition was implemented because seventh and eighth graders had Battle of the Brains, and something was needed for elementary and sixth grade students. Robinson also mentioned that GT teachers Suzy Garner and Pam Gault were instrumental in organizing the competition.
“I’m very proud of all schools that participated,” Robinson said. “They’re all winners — not just one particular person, school or team. We’re all winners because there is a bigger picture. That is unity, family, and success for all students.”
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.