May 11, 2011
Harker’s Vandana Kadam, middle school math teacher, led Celine Liang, grade 7, from Harker, and three students from other California schools to the Mathcounts national championship in Washington, D.C.
Students from Redwood, Cupertino and Kennedy middle schools, California’s top finishers at the state level, were the other three members of the championship team. Liang was third in the state competition. Mathcounts was founded 28 years ago by the National Society of Professional Engineers, CNA Foundation and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
“Making it to the California state team itself is an accomplishment due to the population and the competition,” said Chris Nikoloff, head of school.
A total of 250,000 students participated in MathCounts nationwide this year, coached by over 5,000 coaches, noted Kadam. There were 56 teams at nationals, which ran May 5-8. The teams come from each of the 50 states, plus the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico, and added teams from the District of Columbia, Department of Defense and the State Department. No matter how large or small the state is, only four top students represent each one.
Students are graded individually for individual prizes and also on the team score. The team score comprises the average of the four individual scores and an additional team round. California beat all top teams to clinch first place and each member of the winning California team won a $2,000 scholarship and a trip to space camp. “The students did an awesome job. Harker was well represented by Celine Liang,” said Kadam.