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Four take honors in math contest

Picture of three of four winners

2016 Math Quiz winners: (left to right) junior Ben Girard, senior Cody Messina, and sophomore Lydia Engel (junior Derrick Lawrence was absent for the photo) each won a $25 iTunes gift card as top finishers in the 2016 Math League competition.


Senior Cody Messina, junior Ben Girard, junior Derrick Lawrence, and sophomore Lydia Engel took top honors in CVA math teacher David Appleton’s annual math contest. The four winners each received a $25 iTunes gift card donated by the Central Valley Foundation.

More than students in Mr. Appleton’s Algebra 2/Trigonometry, precalculus and calculus met monthly for six months to test their math problem solving skills. Each half-hour quiz included just six questions covering geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and other advanced pre-calculus topics. Each correct answer earned the quiz-taker one point. The student with the most points in each grade won the contest. Girard and Lawrence each scored nine points, Messina and Engel scored 13.

To ensure a complete lack of bias, Appleton joined the New York Mathematics League and used their quizzes.

The competition is not like a classroom exam or test.

“You can’t just study your notes from class and do well. Some of the brightest students don’t do well, because it forces them to think in a different way under the pressure of competition,” said Appleton.


picture of all four students

We finally caught with all four at one time—math champs seated are Ben Girard and Cody Messina, and standing Lydia Engel and Derrick Lawrence.