Ellis MathCounts team best in region

Published 12:01 pm Sunday, April 21, 2024

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William Ellis Middle School’s MathCounts team took first place in the recent regional MathCounts competition.

Approximately 150 of the top middle school students from several counties in northwest North Carolina competed in the annual event at Wake Forest University. William Ellis triumphed over archrival Hanes Magnet Middle School, which usually dominates the region.

The team’s performance qualified it for the state competition at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

William Ellis had 12 students.

Ian Rareshide, Olivia Rareshide, Chris Samet, and Arjey Teper competed as the school team and as individuals, while Spencer Bass, Brayden Fuchs, William Hendrix, Nirat Patel, Natalie Quance, Madeline Ricketts, C.J. Smith, and Lily Tronsen competed as individuals.

In the individual results, Teper placed third, Samet fourth, O. Rareshide fifth, I. Rareshide 17th, and Fuchs 25th. At 28th place, Bass tied for the best placement among all sixth graders.

The team, coached by William Ellis math teacher Steve Rareshide, began practicing weekly after school in October, and several times weekly in January and February.

MathCounts is a national program designed to improve mathematical problem solving skills among middle school students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability.

As one of the longest-running STEM programs for middle school students in the nation, MathCounts encourages student interest through written and oral challenges. Topics include algebra, geometry, number theory, patterns, and probability.

In North Carolina, MathCounts is sponsored by the Professional Engineers of N.C., which organizes the event for public and private schools. The top teams from the regional events advance to the state competition, and the state winners participate in the national finals.

“What a wonderful group of kids,” Rareshide said. “They worked extremely hard and were very coachable. We were thrilled to overcome our archrival, Hanes Magnet Middle School in Winston-Salem.”

A sample problem from the non-calculator round of this year’s contest: “What is the least nine-digit positive integer that contains each of the digits from 1 to 9 exactly once, and is divisible by 99?” Answer: 123,475,869.