Student Mathletes compete in regional contest

Winning Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School team to advance to state competition

Posted: Sunday, March 07, 2010

A team of middle school Mathletes from Dzantik'I Heeni Middle School competed among a total of 30 students from three middle schools on Feb. 13 to win the Southeast Regional Mathcounts Competition. The team will now advance to the state competition to be held March 20 in Anchorage.

Members of the winning team from Dzantik'i Heeni, coached by Dawn Momblow and Mary Borthwick, are Stephen Mell (first place Individual), Ruby Steedle (second place Individual), Seth Bodine (third place Individual) and Alex Kirchoff (fourth place Individual). Ethan Seid was also on the first-place team but could not make it to the state competition due to prior commitments.

The three schools, Dzantik'i Heeni, Floyd Dryden Middle School and the Montessori Borealis Adolescent Program, were all from the Juneau area. Each school had one official team of four students participating and in addition, the three schools brought 18 additional students competing as official and unofficial individuals. Only official contestants are eligible for the state competition.

Teachers, coaches and students have been preparing for the competition since early fall. Students competed in written and fast-paced oral matches in subjects which include algebra, probability, statistics and geometry. Winners received prizes and trophies.

In addition to the top team, the top two individuals not on the qualifying team will advance to the state competition. Those individuals are Jamie Barnhill (fifth place Individual), from Floyd Dryden, and Soren Thompson (sixth place Individual), from Dzantik'i Heeni.

The second-place team from Floyd Dryden was coached by Kirstie Dye, and the third-place team from Montessori Borealis was coached by Craig Wilson.

Mathcounts, a nationwide volunteer nonprofit program, is designed to improve math skills among U.S. students. Sponsors target sixth- to eighth-grade students, who are at a crucial stage in developing and sustaining math interest and ability.

Mathcounts is a volunteer nonprofit organization. Its national sponsors cover expenses at the national competition, but all state and chapter competition expenses are funded locally. None of it would be possible without the generous support the local sponsors: Alaska Energy Engineering LLC, Carson Dorn, Inc., Gorman Engineers, Haight & Associates Inc., Jensen Yorba Lott Inc., MRV Architects, Murray & Associates P.C., NorthWind Architects LLC, PND Engineering Inc., R&M Engineering - Ketchikan, Tetra Tech Inc., USKH & Wilson Engineering Inc. Leadership is provided by members of the Alaska Engineering Education Foundation and the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers, and the competitions are organized by ASPE.

For information on Mathcounts, contact Douglas Murray at 780-6151. To see a photo of the winners, visit

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