• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

WCMS advances three students, FPS team to state finals

Woodford County Middle School's academic team has advanced three students and its future problem solving team to the state Governor's Cup finals. In written assessment, Avery Schanbacher tied for second in language arts in Region 10 to advance to the state finals, Trevor Wells took home second place in social studies to punch his ticket to the state finals, and Keaton Martin finished second in arts and humanities to also advance to the state Governor's Cup finals. "They're very self-motivated," said WCMS assistant Coach Tyler Murphy of the students who advanced to state in written assessment. "It's their eighth-grade year and this was something they were truly determined to do." The WCMS future problem solving (FPS) team finished second in Region 10 to also advance to the state finals. Murphy describes his FPS students - Aidan Bottom, Bryant Craig, Cayce Jones and Robert Sunseri - as "the unsung members of the academic team because so much of the work they do" happened before the two-hour competition to solve a problem about 3-D printing began. A research booklet shows they've done their homework on this topic before they brainstorm for solutions and an action plan, he explained. Of his FPS team's success, Murphy said, "They each have unique personalities that really work well together." He said being able to advance three students and an FPS team to the state finals out of a very competitive region was a significant accomplishment "because we have schools in our region who consistently have been in the top-10 in FPS in the state ... And being able to compete at state Governor's Cup is a huge milestone for anybody in their academic team career." Going into Region 10 Governor's Cup competition on Feb. 4, WCMS won the District 40 championship with 56.66 points. The Tigers defeated Royal Spring, Scott County and Georgetown middle schools after earning first-place finishes in the quick-recall and FPS team competitions. Also contributing to the WCMS academic team's district-winning performance were top-five written assessment finishes by Nathan Maher (third in science and tied for fifth in math), Bryant Craig (first in science), Avery Schanbacher (first in language arts), Trevor Wells (first in social studies), Caleb May (second in science), Reida Harrod (second in language arts), Keaton Martin (second in arts and humanities), Alfie Painter (second in social studies), Maia Smith (third in composition), Shaun Lavin (third in math) and Jarom Bradshaw Maher (tied for fifth in math). "Again, it's a sign of the effort and motivation of the students," said Murphy, who has been an assistant coach under head Coach Charlie Kahn for four years at WCMS.

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