600 WNC students to compete in 39th annual High School Math Contest

Western Carolina University will host its 39th annual High School Mathematics Contest Thursday, April 2, with 608 of the region’s top high school and junior high school mathematics students competing.

The students, representing 34 schools, will compete for individual and school awards as well as advancement to regional and state mathematics contests.

Registration opens at 9:15 a.m. in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Orientation of the contestants starts at 10 a.m., and testing begins at 10:25 a.m. Students will have 70 minutes to complete the exams.

While contestants are taking their exams, the faculty sponsors will be served refreshments in the Hospitality Room and participate in a session led by Axelle P. Faughn, WCU assistant professor of mathematics, and Jacqueline Jacobs, head of WCU’s department of educational leadership and foundations, titled “Teacher Education Program Revisioning – Focus Discussion on Secondary Mathematics Licensure.”

In addition to individual awards, winning teams will be decided in 4A-3A and 2A-1A senior high divisions and in a single junior high division. Ten schools are entered in the 4A-3A division in which Roberson High School is the defending champion. Eleven schools will compete in the 2A-1A division, won last year by Carolina Day School. In the junior high division, 13 schools will compete. North Buncombe Middle School was the winner of that division last year.

Competition is offered in four subject divisions: algebra I, algebra II, geometry and comprehensive. WCU, one of 16 sites comprising the statewide contest network, is one of five sites that offer testing in four subject divisions. Entry totals are 125 for algebra I, 144 for algebra II, 143 for geometry and 196 for comprehensive.

The top 10 percent of winners in algebra I, algebra II and geometry advance to the state finals for the western region at the University of North Carolina at Asheville on April 30. Students scoring in the top 8 percent in the comprehensive division qualify for the State Mathematics Contest April 23 at the School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

The top 20 finishers in the state are offered full scholarships to attend a North Carolina college or university of their choice, including WCU.

Awards at the WCU contest include certificates of merit to the top finishers who qualify for the next round of competition in each subject division and certificates of participation for all contestants. Plaques will be awarded to the top three schools in each team division, according to mean scores. Each of the winning schools receives a rotating trophy for a year.

Welcoming the students will be Kyle R. Carter, WCU provost and senior vice chancellor; Wendy Ford, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Mark Holliday, head of the mathematics and computer science department.

Ralph Willis, associate professor of mathematics, is contest chairman. Division chairpersons are Axelle Faughn, algebra I; Benjamin Kearns, algebra II; Risto Atanasov, geometry; and Kate Best, comprehensive. Testing coordinator is Kathy Jaqua.

Announcement of subject division and school winners will be at 1:15 p.m. in main arena of the Ramsey Center. Also participating in the awards ceremony will be Michael Dougherty, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions.

Schools participating in the contest are:

Asheville City – Asheville High and Asheville Middle.
Buncombe County – Cane Creek Middle, Enka High, Enka Middle, Erwin High, Erwin Middle, North Buncombe High, North Buncombe Middle, Owen High, Owen Middle, Reynolds High, Reynolds Middle, Roberson High and Valley Springs Middle.
Cherokee County – Andrews High.
Graham County – Robbinsville High.
Haywood County – Tuscola High.
Henderson County – East Henderson High, Hendersonville High, North Henderson High and Rugby Middle.
Jackson County – Cullowhee Valley Middle and Smoky Mountain High.
Macon County – Franklin High and Nantahala High.
Madison County – Madison Middle.
McDowell County – McDowell Early College and McDowell High.
Mitchell County – Mitchell High.
Transylvania County – Brevard Middle.
Private Schools – Asheville Home, Carolina Day and Carolina Day Middle.