Frank D’Elia, an eighth grader at St. Luke School, Whitestone, captured first place in the diocesan upper grades math bee.
Second place was awarded to Nicholas Vidal, an eighth grader at St. Adalbert, Elmhurst. Third place winner was John Lavelle, a seventh grader at St. Ephrem School, Dyker Heights.
The competition was held at Immaculate Conception School, Jamaica Estates.
“Each and every one of you on this stage this afternoon put in a great amount of effort today,” said Anthony Biscione, senior deputy superintendent. “Every single one of you is a champion. You did well in your Classroom Bee, you did well in your School Bee, you advanced here from the Regional Bee and you are here today.”
This year’s competitions are aligned to the Common Core for the first time. The result is a more challenging Math Bee competition that requires students to think more deeply. Students do not simply answer questions; they must understand and interpret the problems.
In addition to a revised set of questions, the Diocesan Math Bee participating grade levels have changed to better align with the Common Core learning standards. Previously, three diocesan bees took place: Primary (grades one-to-three), Intermediate (grades four-to-six), and Junior High (grades seventh and eighth). This year, there are two divisions – middle grades three-to-five) and upper grades (six-to-eight).
“I find it amazing the type of students we have because this Bee now includes sixth grade, it’s so much harder than the previous Bee, and these children just rose to the occasion,” said Sylvia Nomikos, math teacher at St. Bernadette School, Dyker Heights.
“They did a magnificent job. Roughly one-sixth of the finalists were sixth graders, one-sixth were seventh graders and the rest were eighth graderss. They really did well and we should be very proud. It just shows you that Catholic schools are raising the standards and the students are meeting them.”