Two Maggie Walker teams place in national competitions

Two teams of students from the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School recently took third place in national competitions in Washington, D.C., and New York City, according to information from the school.

Maggie Walker teams took third in this year’s Moody’s Mega Math Challenge in New York City and in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals in Washington, D.C.

In the math competition, which took place April 28, the team of five seniors also won $10,000 in scholarship money, according to information from the school. The team members are all from Chesterfield County: Susan Ballentine, Will Farmer, Ashish Makadia, Cody Talmadge and Eric Tyler.

The problem presented in the challenge involved U.S. Census figures, including making recommendations for undercount adjustment and for apportioning the U.S. House of Representatives. A total of 531 high school teams submitted papers, and six teams were chosen to present their results in New York City for the top prizes.

“The students especially enjoyed this competition because it gave them a chance to apply mathematics to an important real-world topic,” teacher and coach John Barnes says in a press release from the school. “The students had 14 hours to complete their research and model proposal, and they really gave it their best effort.”

We the People team members study a broad range of topics related to American government and constitutionalism and prepare for a simulated congressional hearing, during which judges ask questions, according to information from the school. The academic competition marked the end of months of study and hard-won victories at the congressional district and state levels.

“This is a great accomplishment, especially given the fact that the team had just over four weeks to prepare when most other team had several months,” Maggie Walker Director Fred S. Morton IV says in a press release from the school.

Social Studies teacher Matt Maguire coaches the all-senior team, which includes the following students from the area: Katie Ardiff, of Chesterfield;  Mitchell Caudill, of Chesterfield;  Kyle Herman, of Chesterfield; Elaine Hillgrove, of Chesterfield;  Travis McCall, of Chesterfield;  Maryam Patton, of Chesterfield;  Kimberly Quick, of Chesterfield; Eric Sawchak, of Chesterfield; Elsa Schultze, of Chesterfield; and Kelsie Taylor, of Chesterfield.

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