• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

WCMS sends FPS team to state Governor’s Cup finals


ADVANCING TO STATE in written assessment were Woodford County Middle School eighth-grade students, from left, Reida Harrod (language arts), Bryant Craig (science) and Maia Smith (arts and humanities). (Photo by Bob Vlach)

A FUTURE PROBLEM SOLVING TEAM will again represent Woodford County Middle School at the Kentucky Governor’s Cup finals. From left are team members Addie Patterson, Jordan Patterson, Bryant Craig, Cody Boesch and Liberty Parzyszek. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Three students advance in written assessment

For the second consecutive year, Woodford County Middle School’s future problem solving team has advanced to the Kentucky Governor’s Cup finals.

“There are only two tickets to state out of our region,” said Coach Tyler Murphy. “And we have schools (in Region 10) that have been top-10 in the state in future problem solving. So to come out of our region with a ticket to state is very difficult.” He predicted this year’s FPS team will do very well at the state finals in March.

The FPS team will be joined by Bryant Craig (science), Reida Harrod (language arts) and Maia Smith (arts and humanities) who advanced to state Governor’s Cup in written assessment.

Maia, an eighth-grader, never took a written assessment in arts and humanities before this year, yet she finished third in Region 10.

She credits her dad, Woodford County High School social studies teacher Andy Smith, for encouraging her to take the arts and humanities assessment.

Playing three musical instruments – the trombone, viola and baritone – “has helped and assisted in my interest and knowledge in the arts and humanities,” said Maia, 13.

“When you’re playing a piece,” she continued, “it becomes a lot easier to memorize who’s this by, what sort of style is it in, and what it’s all about…”

Reida, who advanced to the state finals in language arts with a fourth-place finish in Region 10, said her mom read to her as a young child “so I’ve always had interest in reading.”

“I like reading because it’s fun,” added Reida, also an eighth-grader. “I really like stories that paint a picture in my mind … and can take you to new places.”

Having never before advanced to region, she said going to state was “really exciting.”

Bryant qualified for the state finals in science by scoring a 45. He joins a field of 10 students who will represent Region 10 in the Governor’s Cup state finals.

“It’s very fierce competition,” said Bryant of science in his region. “…It usually comes down to one or two questions.”

He said his interest in science comes from being curious and wanting to figure out how something works.

The eighth-grader credits his mom for helping him manage his time so he can be prepared to take the written assessment in science, and also help his future problem solving team at the next level.

As the only returning member of the FPS team, Bryant credited his team’s ability to work together on new and original ways to solve problems for its success.

“You have to think of many different creative ways to move out from the central idea to solve the problem,” he explained.

“Not only is there not one correct answer,” added Addie Patterson, “but you can branch out into so many different ways that whenever you work (on solving a problem) you’ll be able to find multiple solutions that are hidden beneath the surface…”

Murphy, whose FPS team finished in the top-10 in the state as a high school senior, appreciates that success comes from working together as a team while relying on critical thinking and analysis skills – and something else.

“With the written assessments,” he explained, “there’s a lot of pressure to get the right answer … With FPS, there’s a lot of freedom for … intellectual curiosity.”

WCMS finished fourth overall in Region 10 after a third-place finish in District 40.

Advancing to the region for WCMS with top-five finishes in written assessment at the district were Addie Patterson (second in math), Cody Boesch (third in math), Bryant Craig (first in science), James Sikorski (fifth in science), Maia Smith (third in social studies and fourth in arts and humanities), Reida Harrod (first in language arts), Ina Mason (fifth in language arts) and Julia Hill (fifth in composition).

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