Wright Junior High science team honored for national title
The members of the national-champion Science Olympiad team from Wright Junior High School were honored by their peers and teachers Wednesday during an assembly at the Lincolnshire school.
Wearing matching green-and-white shirts, the students carried their trophy to center court in the green gym, where Lincolnshire Mayor Liz Brandt and team Coach Laura Coirier introduced and congratulated them.
The many individual medals they won at last weekend's competition jangled with each step, creating a clanking symphony of victory.
Brandt called the national title, which came in the middle school division, "an amazing, significant accomplishment."
"It's something that can never, ever be taken away," she said.
The 21-member Science Olympiad squad topped a field of 60 teams at the University of Wisconsin-Stout to win the national championship, a first for an Illinois school.
The team already had won its sixth-straight state title, a record in Illinois.
"The team was just amazing," Coirier said.
Among the medalists at the national competition was eighth-grader Emily Lu, who picked up third-, fourth- and sixth-place prizes in various events.
"It's really exciting," Lu said of the victory. "We put in a lot of hard work toward it."
Seventh-grader Sneha Mohan said she and her teammates weren't confident as they entered the national competition.
"We barely won at state," she said. "It seemed impossible."
And yet, victory was achieved.
"I think they'll remember this for the rest of their lives," Coirier said.
Wright Assistant Principal Thomas Herion led Wednesday's assembly. He donned facsimiles of an ancient Greek chest plate and helmet, references to the school's Trojan mascot, for the event.
Herion called the large Science Olympiad trophy "the Stanley Cup of science."
The accolades aren't over for the Science Olympiad team. They'll be feted again May 31 when the Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103 board meets at Wright Junior High.
Lincolnshire officials have ordered a pair of signs commemorating the national title that will be added to local roadways, too.
Other Wright teams were honored during Wednesday's assembly, including the conference champion, seventh-grade boys volleyball team.
The Wright team wasn't the only squad from Lincolnshire to score well at the national Science Olympiad contest. Stevenson High School's team finished sixth in its division, the best the school has ever placed in the competition.