Math Counts 2022

Fourth grader competes against hundreds to win Math Counts
Posted on 12/13/2022
Brayden Conover, Nelson Xiao, Wyatt Ward, Ivy Hoang and Kathern Harris.

Poplar Bluff Middle School student Ivy Hoang was named the 2022 Math Counts champion out of hundreds of fourth graders on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Municipal Library.

The annual multiplication competition, sponsored by the Butler County Community Resource Council, returned after a short hiatus caused by the health crisis. The brainchild of the CRC Children and Youth Succeeding In School Committee, Math Counts was founded in 2011, according to chairperson Kathern Harris.

“Two of you said you made it here because of hard work and you believed in yourself,” Harris told the four finalists, half of whom joked how luck may have played a part. “That’s what life is about. If you believe you can, you have a better chance.”

Ivy vied neck and neck against top students Brayden Conover, Wyatt Ward and Nelson Xiao. She came in second place on the time clock, but was the only student who answered all the math problems correctly, taking precedence in the judging criteria, according to organizers.

Facilitated by Lake Road fourth grade math teacher Deanna Ross, and math interventionist Karmen Carson of the Middle School, the competition has been progressing across campus over the past month. R-I instructional coach Keri Jameson is credited for helping to transition the contest to a virtual platform, with the exception of the championship round, hosted at the North Main Street library branch.

During the final eliminator, 28 vied, including four from Lake Road Elementary, with seven students scoring perfectly, coming down to milliseconds, reported Jameson. A total of 326 R-I fourth graders submitted answers within the time limit during the opening week in November.

"I thought I could do it," said Ivy, when she introduced herself as a former O'Neal student, along with two of the other schoolmates, while one student shared that he attended elementary at Eugene Field. Asked afterward how she prepared, Ivy replied that she simply “memorized through my brain” the practice multiplication tables introduced in math class. Middle School Principal Dr. Josh Teeter was present to support the students, each of whom displayed “great attitudes,” Harris noted.


Cutline: Middle School students (left to right) Brayden Conover, Nelson Xiao and Wyatt Ward applaud Ivy Hoang, as she is presented a trophy by Kathern Harris over the CRC Children and Youth Succeeding In School Committee.

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