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Middle schoolers ‘score’ on math contest
Four BFMS students take top honors for school
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Courtesy Photo: Students from Benjamin Franklin Middle School traveled to Virginia Military Institute in November to participate in the annual American Mathematical Competitions (AMC).

Friday, January 10, 2014


Four students from Benjamin Middle School took top honors for the school at the Mathematical Association of America's annual American Mathematical Competitions (AMC) this past November.

The top scorer for BFMS was eighth-grader Andrew Clark. Eighth-graders Daniel Hancock and Nicholas Robinson tied for second place, and Jennifer Fike, a seventh-grader, took third-place honors.

"We were very encouraged to see several of our students place in the top score bands," said Keith Pennington, director of curriculum and instruction for Franklin County schools. "As well, we were excited to see the vast majority of the students score at or above the group average."

The AMC8 is a 40-minute examination made up of 25 multiple choice mathematics questions. The questions are designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills, according to the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

The contests are the first in the series that lead to the U.S. team at the International Mathematical Olympiad.

"We have a fantastic day of math talks, cadet math skits, VMI Post tours, as well as the AMC test and boxed lunches," said Dr. Randall E. Cone, assistant professor of mathematics at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where the exams were hosted. "Indeed, we've become the national model for the exams -- taken by hundreds of thousands of middle and high school students each year."

The 2013 AMC8 at VMI saw a total of 795 participating middle schoolers from across Virginia, 49 of them from BFMS.

"The 2013 AMC8 at VMI was the best and largest AMC8 ever held," said Cone.

"I'm extremely proud of the students who participated in the math contest and their accomplishments," said BFMS Principal Brenda Muse. "The results were outstanding and indicate our students are capable of competing with students around the region."

The average score for eighth-grade students was 8.3. Sixteen out of the 30 eighth-grade students from BFMS scored 8.3 or higher.

Eighth-graders participating included Rowan Abshire-Sims, Mackenzie Akers, Kortnie Bernard, Katherine Bird, Andrew Clark, John Conde, Anker Eisenman, Luke Erikson, Savannah Gasca, Dakota Gashaw, Benjamin Hancock, Daniel Hancock, Joshua Hodges, Jacob Holland, Gabriel Johnson, Ashley Johoske, Tyler Jones, Titus Lentz, Jalen Patterson, Jonathan Perdue, Risa Philpott, Nicholas Rakes, Nicholas Robinson, Hunter Steph, Emily Stubbs, Jacob Tanner, Jason Tyree, Lucas Tyree, Aaron Wimmer and Morgan Yopp.

The average score for seventh-grade students was 8.4. Eleven out of the 18 seventh-grade students from BFMS scored 8.4 or higher.

Seventh-graders participating included Alexandra Arrington, Azalia Barr, Jacob Brown, Jennifer Fike, Ciara Hampton, Taylor Hill, Elysia Lin, Hannah Mollin, Clayton Peters, Lindsay Powell, Hannah Robertson, Kaleb Shively, David Sine, Madison Stein, Lauren Thornton, Nghi Tran, Emma Vehmeier and John Wheeler.

"This was the first competition of this type for our students, but it certainly will be an event we plan to be involved in from now on," said Muse.

Participants will receive certificates of recognition and the top scorers will receive pins.

The contest is held in November every year. To learn more about the contest, visit

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