Holy Family Academy's middle school students added more trophies to their young school's new trophy case--this time for excelling in Carmel High School's annual math competition. The Academy's 8th grade team won first place in their category, with individual honors also awarded to students Christopher Kull (7th grade), 1st place and Jakub Malysa (8th grade), 2nd place.
According to Mr. John Titterton, Chair of Carmel's Math Department, the college prep Catholic high school located in Mundelein has been sponsoring this event for 23 years. This year's competition included over 200 participants from 20 different Catholic and public middle schools, and tested the students' knowledge of Pre-algebra, Algebra I and basic Geometry.
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Reflecting on Holy Family's showing, Mrs. Mary Scott, lead middle school math instructor stated, "It was a fantastic day for our students! Our math program is strong, and today our students were able to showcase the hard work they have been doing in their math classes." Mrs. Scott, together with Mr. Mike Henry, were the math team's coaches for the day and represent half of the professional math instructors at Holy Family's middle school, which also includes Mrs. Meredith Canali and Mr. Brian Prus.
Holy Family's approach to math instruction is unique. First, all middle school math teachers have had careers that applied math skills such as accounting, finance and engineering, and have pursued math education as a second career. Second, the Academy offers at least six different middle school math groups depending on individual achievement levels. This ensures that students work at course levels that meet their needs rather than simply by grade level.
Holy Family Academy's focus on developing 21st century skills also fits well with the individual and team format of Carmel's event. "Clearly, to be successful in the future, our students will be asked to be cooperative as well as competitive," states Dr. Ludwig, Principal. "Holy Family fosters an environment that includes working in teams and striving for excellence. We have seen this approach increase students' academic achievement and positions Holy Family students to succeed in high school and beyond."