GOOD NEWS: Sweetwater Middle students are WordMasters

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Two teams representing Sweetwater Middle School have achieved highest honors in the 2012-13 WordMasters Challenge, a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students.

The sixth-grade team scored a perfect 200 out of 200 possible points in the last of three meets this year, placing first in the nation. In addition, the sixth-grade team finished the overall competition in first place with a cumulative score of 600 points, the only team in the country to achieve a perfect score.

The seventh-grade team from Sweetwater Middle School scored 196 points in the final meet, earning seventh-place nationwide.

Sixth-graders David de los Santos, Jose Pena Flores, Janiel Caday and Rani Rutledge each achieved individual highest honors in the overall competition by earning perfect scores of 60 points. Seventh grader Kaitlyn Choe also earned individual highest honors in her division with a cumulative score of 59 points.

Competing in the Gold Division of the WordMasters Challenge, the following students earned a perfect score of 20 in the recent meet: sixth-graders Tajin Alam, Emina Begovic, Jonathan Bulauan, Janiel Caday, Juan Campos, David de los Santos, Giordanne Lynn-Smith, Sarah Moneiro, Jose Pena-Flores, Rani Rutledge, Emily Taing, Kevin Thach, Amy Tin, Albert Villalobos, and Mubashira Zaman; seventh-graders Kaitlyn Choe, Nabid Farvez, Rodrigo Herrera, Jackie Nguyen, Kunal Patel and Buduka Ogonor; and eighth-grader Brandon Cruztitla.

Other students from Sweetwater Middle School who achieved outstanding results in the recent meet include seventh-graders Samantha Higginbotham, Ruben Alvado, Britney Nguyen, Ibum Obu, De'Ametrein Robinson, James Ha and Jorge Valle, and eighth grader Amina Mohammed. The students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge by Lois Bean, Elizabeth Sumner and Nadaria Wade.

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first "encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. Although most vocabulary enrichment and analogy-solving programs are designed for use by high school students, WordMasters Challenge materials have been specifically created for younger students in grades three through eight. They are particularly well suited for children who are motivated by the challenge of learning new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies.

The WordMasters Challenge program is administered by a company based in Indianapolis, which is dedicated to inspiring high achievement in American schools. Further information is available at the company's website: www.wordmasterschallenge.com.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.