MCA Mathcounts team second in regional tournament

David Broyles

March 8, 2014

WINSTON-SALEM — Millennium Charter Academy’s MathCounts team finished second overall with Student Cooper Nester finishing sixth in individual competition among 150 participants.

The team also won the Top Small School trophy in the event at Haynes Magnet Middle School and now moves on to state competition.

According to Information Director Lu Anne Browne, the state competition will consist of 45 schools and 163 students are set to compete on March 14 in Durham. The events have students compete individually and as teams in written and fast-paced verbal matches. Traditionally, subjects include algebra, probability, statistics and geometry. Winners will advance to the national finals set for May.

The other members of the team are Brooksie Lawson, Ben Thomason, William Marshall, Ashton Rierson, Drew Tilley, Ryan Wagoner, Lindley Williams and Joey McCormick.

Team members indicated a catalyst for interest this year was the academy offering an elective where MathCounts skills could be practiced which furthered the math club which had been meeting informally. Teacher Christine Speer, who is also the MathCounts coach said another factor helping the team this year by online math and school curriculum which has also helped students in their regular classes.

“This was the first time in about three years we have offered the elective which gave us a boost. Honestly, I think only one student who took the elective this year made the team,” said Speer. “I think my eighth graders exposure to algebra and problem solving and their ability to think outside of the box and not the old ‘drill and kill’ memorization approach helped.”

Team member Drew Tilley said he felt the elective class helped them sharpen their problem solving skills. Ryan Wagoner explained the competition spans three rounds and with group events being the sprint and team rounds and an individual or target segment.

Browne, Mathcounts is a national program designed to improve math skills among U.S. students. The program focuses on middle school students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability.

Mathcounts was founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and CNA Foundation. Additional information on MathCounts is available at

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.