• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

WCMS students place at state Governor's Cup


Cutline: BEN HUMPHRIES, pictured in middle, an eighth-grader at Woodford County Middle School, finished first in arts and humanities at the 2016 Kentucky Governor’s Cup state finals in Louisville. Overall, WCMS finished 11th in the state. Pictured, from left, are Derek Forte, who finished 56th out of 130 students in math; Ashlyn Martin, who finished fifth in arts and humanities; Ben, a state champion; Logan Craig, who scored higher than any other Kentucky middle school student taking the inaugural general knowledge test; and Bryant Craig, who finished 32nd among 130 students in science as a sixth-grader. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Editor’s note: WCMS student Logan Craig was misidentified as Nathan Craig in the version of this story published in this week’s issue of The Sun. We apologize for the error. What follows is a corrected version of the story.

Woodford County Middle School eighth-graders Ben Humphries and Ashlyn Martin finished first and fifth, respectively, in the arts and humanities written assessment at the 2016 Kentucky Governor’s Cup state finals. Their top-five performances led WCMS to an 11th place overall finish in the team standings.

“To have two students in the top-five in one category is just unbelievable,” said WCMS academic team Coach Charlie Kahn. “But they’re such great, well-rounded kids. And I have to emphasize their family support.”

Being state champion in arts and humanities means a lot to Ben, who has been working toward that goal since he was a sixth-grader and didn’t advance to the region of Governor’s Cup competition.

“I wanted to do more,” said Ben. He was able to advance to the state finals as seventh-grader before winning a state crown this year.

Ben and Ashlyn, who have been competing against each other since they were fourth-graders, share an enjoyment for the arts and humanities. And it all began with a passion to make music.

“I’m really into music. I play clarinet. I do band,” said Ashlyn. “I’m really into art and drawing. And those two (music and art) are pretty big components of arts and humanities. It’s one of my interests, and I love learning about it.”

Because of a strong desire to finally reach the stage at the state finals of Governor’s Cup competition, Ashlyn had tears in her eyes when her named was called. “I was disappointed when I didn’t place (last year),” explaining her reaction, “but I wanted to work even harder. So when it actually happened, I was very, very happy. It was nice to stand out on the stage, see all those people and meet the governor.” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated every student who finished top-10 in written assessments at the state finals.

Two other students also represented WCMS in the state finals of Governor’s Cup competition in Louisville.

Kahn described Bryant Craig advancing to the state finals in science as an amazing achievement for a sixth-grader. Bryant finished 32nd among 130 students from across Kentucky.

His performance was especially strong considering the large number of students from magnet schools who specialize in science, said Kahn.

In addition to having a self-described innate ability to pick up science like “a lint roller,” Bryant credited his father for teaching him “a lot of cool stuff.”

“Like there was a question about gravity waves on (the science assessment),” he continued, “and I wouldn’t have known about that if it wasn’t for my dad,” Matthew Craig.

Knowing the tough competition his younger brother faced in Region 10 to finish fifth in science and advance to the state, Logan Craig said, “I didn’t get as far as he (did) when I was his age … So for him there’s no where to go but up.”

Derek Forte qualified for the Governor’s Cup state finals after earning 41 points on the mathematics written assessment in Region 10. At state, the eighth-grader finished 56th out of 130 students from across Kentucky.

“Math is a really big focus of a lot of the academic team students in Kentucky,” said Derek, “so to be able to compete against them at the state (finals) was just nice…”

While Logan did not advance to the state Governor’s Cup in any written assessment area or earn any points for his team, the WCMS eighth-grader did score higher than any other Kentucky middle school student taking the inaugural general knowledge test.

“It means a lot because I was kind of disappointed about not being able to go to state in science,” said Logan.

He likened the general knowledge test to quick-recall. Both measure a student’s knowledge in all five written assessment categories as well as current events.

To finish first – and be recognized as the smartest kid in the state – was a real surprise to Logan.

Overall, Kahn said he’s glad to have a team of students who are well-rounded. “Being a one-trick pony is not the way to get through life, school or go onto a career,” he explained.

Throughout their Governor’s Cup season competing against other academic teams in Kentucky, WCMS students were able to demonstrate why being well-rounded leads to successes.

In written assessments at Region 10, Ben Humphries finished first in arts and humanities and Ashlyn Martin was second. Bryant Craig finished fifth in science and Derek Forte finished seventh in math, but earned 41 points to quality for the state finals.

The future problem-solving team from WCMS finished fourth in Region 10.

WCMS swept top honors in the quick-recall and future problem-solving team competitions in District 40 as the Tigers earned an overall first place with 61 points.

In math written assessment, Derek Forte was first, Bryan Caldwell finished second and Joseph Kowalke was fourth.

In science, Bryant Craig finished first, Logan Craig was second and Caleb May earned a third-place finish.

In social studies, Alfie Painter and Trevor Wells finished tied for third.

In language arts, Morgan Elmore earned a second-place finish while Macey Wade was fifth.

In arts and humanities, Ashlyn Martin finished in first, Ben Humphries was second and Keaton Martin was fourth.

In composition, Logan Craig was fifth.

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