Lucas Bort, Reinaldo Colon, Michael Bratslavsky
After a successful season with the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Math team, six students were selected to compete on the Onondaga County Math Team at states. There was an A team and also a B team, both consisting of 10 students from local high schools, like Baldwinsville, East Syracuse-Minoa, and Cicero-North Syracuse. Seniors Somil Aggarwal and Billy Leiker participated on the A team, and came out victorious in the state competition. Senior Kangbo Li, junior Ben Catania, junior Albert Wang, and freshman Xavier Plourde (alternate) also participated, on the B team.
The state division win came as a surprise for the J-D contestants. It was the team’s first time winning their division. “It was really nice, it definitely wasn’t expected,” said Aggarwal. Most teams at the competition lacked members who had been there before, which is something that helped the Onondaga County team excel. “We had a lot of experienced people on our team, and it was nice to know what we were doing,” said Leiker.
Math teacher and Math Team club adviser Michael Klemperer was very pleased with the performance of the individuals that made it to states, as well as the J-DHS Math team as a whole. They won against some of the best teams in the county, like Fayetteville-Manlius High School, during the regular season. “It was really good, it was the best year we have had in a long time,” said Mr. Klemperer. The J-DHS Math Team placed second overall in the county, behind F-M.
Although not all the participants were selected to compete in the state competition, many students gained a lot of experience. “Math team helped me to learn the basics to harder math,” said freshman Colin Revercomb. Along with that, Revercomb said that he learned a lot while working alongside upperclassmen that acted as “mentors.”
Another aspect that helped the team was their ability to work together. Plourde said that the team was very diverse this year, consisting of students from all different grades. Li said that the team’s greatest strength was that everyone could help each other out and get along well. Leiker added that everyone knew each other pretty well and it was easy to talk with teammates.
Many of the members on the Math Team said that they will use math in college and in their careers. Plourde says he already likes to use math a lot, primarily in his computer science class. Catania said that he will most likely use it when goes into business. Aggarwal thinks that he will go into a STEM career so math will be necessary for him. “Math is valuable in pretty much any career you go into, so we will all be using it a lot,” said Leiker.