West rises in two state academic events

       West Middle School rose to the top in two academic competitions this spring - Future Problem Solving (FPS) and Mathcounts.
       The FPS team from West - Beth Luke, Dylan Roche, Helen Stritzel, and Kate Wolf - won the Middle Division at the recent State Future Problem Solving Bowl and will represent Colorado at the Interna-tional Conference May 28-June 1 in Lansing, Mich. (the Michigan State University campus, according to coach Anne Wolf).
       “Future Problem Solving is an international competition where teams try to determine (and solve) important problems around a situation set in the near future,” she explained. For example, the topic at state was debt in developing countries. At the international competition, the topic will be child labor.
       Wolf, who is the gifted resource teacher at Chipeta Elementary School, has coached FPS for “quite a few years,” she said, including teams with her son and two daughters. She became West's coach because her youngest, Kate (whom she'd coached at Chipeta), is now a SAIL student at West.
       She also has a Chipeta-coaching connection to this year's Coronado High School FPS team, which won the Future Problem Solving Senior Division and will be representing Colorado for the third straight year at the international event. The Coronado team members, all seniors, are Kali Allison, Kara Allison, Rachel Wynn and Rachel Wolf (Ann's older daughter).
       "I am very proud of the hard work and excellent team work and thinking skills these students have exhibited this year," Anne Wolf said.
       By showing organized diligence in all areas of mathematics, West became the only school in Colorado Springs this year to achieve the Silver level in the nationwide Mathcounts competition, according to Phillip Hutcherson, West's SAIL math teacher and Mathcounts coach. Nationally, he said, about 6,000 schools competed, with only 400 achieving Silver.
       To reach that level, “a team not only has to compete at a regional level (we placed sixth among the schools in the Pikes Peak Region), but a school must also be willing to have enough committed members (minimum of 12) who are willing to complete several monthly challenges on top of preparing for the competition,” Hutcherson explained. “To make it more difficult, I only allowed students who scored a certain level on those challenges to get credit for them.”
       West's Mathcounts participants were Hunter Cain, Miles Christian, Ricky Cranford, Madison Darby-McClure, Rileigh Darby-McClure, Elizabeth Donahoo, Sylvia Donahoo, Kaycee Grimm, Taylor Jaquez, Danika Klebe, Beth Luke, Tania Stoecker, Logan Taylor, Kate Wolf, and Zach Reineke.

Westside Pioneer/press release