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High School Mathematics Students Excel at Regional Math Contests, Now Headed to State Competition


JONESBORO – Almost 200 high school students participated in the 2013 Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM) Regional Contest Saturday, March 2, at Arkansas State University.

Students competed in five contests -- Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.

With this being the 35th annual contest, it is something of a homecoming each year for many of the teachers who bring their students to compete because they themselves participated as high school students before earning a degree.

Angela Duncan, a teacher at Paragould High School, won first place in the calculus contest when she was a senior at Corning High School. Duncan later completed her bachelor’s degree in mathematics education at Arkansas State, graduating magna cum laude with university honors. She completed an honors thesis with Dr. Mike Hall, who has served as director of the Math Contest since 2003.

Duncan later earned a master’s degree in mathematics. While she was a graduate student, she was awarded the Jerry Linnstaedter IMPAC Fellowship, which was named for the chair of the math department at the time the math contest was initiated by faculty member Dr. Tom Bishop.

It grew so large under Bishop’s leadership that it became a statewide contest, preceded by the regional contests where students qualify. Bishop, now retired, is still involved with Arkansas State in a number of volunteer capacities, including the Advisory Board for the College of Sciences and Mathematics.

Winners at this year’s event were recognized at an awards ceremony that took place following the morning contests. The top three place finishers in each exam area will be invited to the state contest that will be held in late April.

The Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a professional organization that supports the teaching of mathematics. ACTM conducts annual regional and state mathematics contests which provide an opportunity for high school students to compete academically.

Winners of the respective contests were:

  • Algebra I: 1st, Olivia Langner, Brookland; 2nd, Jada White, Paragould Junior High; and 3rd, Trevor Bateman, Paragould Junior High; Honorable Mention: Emily Beard and Lacy Sanviz, Newport High, and Hannah Hembrey, Newport Junior High.
  • Geometry: 1st, Yeongjoon Hwang, Valley View; 2nd, Kelly Welsh, Jonesboro; 3rd, Damon Wallace, Walnut Ridge; HM: John Wolz, Joshua Martin and Clayton Barrett, Paragould; Brennan McCall and Gavin Gunn, Walnut Ridge; Patrick Looney, Jonesboro.
  • Algebra II: 1st, Regan Williams, Newport; 2nd, Colton Henderson, Newport; 3rd, Ashley McIninch, Paragould; HM: Jasmine Harris, Arriana Walker and Mallory Watson, Newport; Hannah Smithee, Madison Beasley, Kali Bogas, Nate Tiner, Amanda Robbins and Claire Rowland, Paragould.
  • Trigonometry/Precalculus: 1st, Jacob Perkins, Brookland; 2nd, Edward Harthorn, Walnut Ridge; 3rd, Anna Bland, Walnut Ridge; HM: Hannah Massey, Sabrina Knight and Jodie Reithemeyer, Walnut Ridge; Angela Willbanks and Isabell Arnold, Trumann.
  • Calculus: 1st, Haven Hogan, Nettleton; 2nd, Christopher Cunningham, Brookland; 3rd, Chantilly Steyer, Paragould; HM: Jake Smith and Grant Ragsdell, Paragould; Nicole Duty and Morgan Petersen, Nettleton.

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