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Math Team Wins Regional Contest
8th Grade Math Team Wins Competition; three grades compete

You could say Joseph Ghanimah, Kurt Castillo, Adam Ghanimah, Adam Chaidez and Nicole Rybak are the math gurus of Blackhawk Middle School.

But these 8th grade students are more than that; they’re the champions among hundreds of math whizzes from dozens of schools who competed Saturday at the Montini Catholic High School annual Math Contest.

Members of the 8th grade math team won first place in their division. It is the crowning achievement for a group of dedicated students who thrive on math and were determined to win this year, math teacher Mrs. Chalifoux said.

 Blackhawk Math Teams

Watch a short video of the 8th grade team
The team has been a cohesive unit since 6th grade when Math Club was just getting started at Blackhawk. 

“Every Tuesday you could hear them bounding down the hall after school because it was Math Club day,” Mrs. Chalifoux said. “No one (at Blackhawk) had ever seen this kind of energy displayed for Math Club.”

Two of the 8th grade students also placed in the individual contest, along with one 6th grade student. 

Individual honors

Joseph Ghanimah placed third in the individual contest and Kurt Castillo placed sixth. Margaret Quilapio, 6th grade, placed sixth in her grade level.

Blackhawk was represented by teams in each grade level. Team members prepared for weeks by staying after school to improve their math ability each week. 

The 7th grade team includes Doris Anton, Viridiana Garcia, Vanessa Garza, Nolan Hernandez, Litzy Huerta, Natalie Natiello, Meet Patel, and Taras Tarnoveski.

The 6th grade team includes Margaret Quilapio, Jasmin Alfaro, Victor Aristakessian, Abby Mathew, Natalie Natiello and Dhruv Patel.

The teams are coached by Mrs. Popescu. “The credit for this success goes to the students, their families, all the district math teachers, and to the administration for supporting the enrichment provided by the BMS Math Club,” she said.

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