“All of them were not only well prepared, but very skilled for their young ages, and they certainly put me to shame,” said Patricia Winters, principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Sunset Park, regarding the impressive skills of first, second and third graders at the regional primary math bees.
The regional primary math bees took place at three locations in the Diocese of Brooklyn: Holy Angels Catholic Academy, Bay Ridge; St. Adalbert School, Elmhurst; and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Bayside.
Each location represented a region, and every school/academy in each region was represented by a student who earned the honor. The top six contestants from each regional bee will move on to the Diocesan Math Bee on Tuesday, April 16.
At ages as young as six to nine, an intense competition such as a math bee is even more emotional than it is for those in the older grades, but the students are never discouraged.
“Although they may be the tops in their own school, they need to learn that there are other students out there who may be as skilled as or more skilled than they are,” Winters said.
“That may encourage them to go back and to do additional work to practice and build on their skills, but everyone that was here certainly is a winner. Besides, you never know what could have thrown the ones who were not finalists.”
“And don’t forget they’ve had a long day. They’re young and they’ve been in school all day and came out on the day before vacation,” added Rosemarie McGoldrick, principal at Holy Angels.
In attendance at the contest was Madeleine Scotto, a retired teacher from St. Ephrem School, Dyker Heights.
Scotto, who is 98, was instrumental in continuing the math bees after the Math Council of the Diocese of Brooklyn disbanded. She hosted the regional math bees at St. Ephrem’s up until 2011-2012.
She continues to volunteer her time to work with students and prepare them for the math bees at St. Ephrem.
The finalists competing in the Diocesan Math Bee are:
Holy Angels Catholic Academy site:
Gianna Armenia, St. Bernadette, Grade 3;
Lauren Borgia, Holy Angels Catholic Academy, Grade 3;
Elijah Crawford, St. Edmund School, Grade 3;
James Endall, St. Rose of Lima, Grade 3;
Allie Giordano, St. Ephrem, Grade 3;
Matteo Rotatori, St. Patrick, Grade 3.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament site:
John LaMicela, St. Francis of Assisi, Grade 2;
Justin Lee, St. Andrew Avellino, Grade 3;
Parth Mehta, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Grade 3;
Christopher Meich, St. Luke, Grade 3;
Andrew Schoelles, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Grade 2;
Michele Tran, Most Precious Blood, Grade 3.
St. Adalbert site:
Nicholas Alleva, St. Pancras, Grade 3;
Mark DeDona, Our Lady of Hope, Grade 3;
Emily Kruger, St. Joan of Arc, Grade 3;
Benjamin O’Toole, Our Lady of Mercy, Grade 3;
Bryan Wong, Resurrection-Ascension, Grade 3.