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Geneva Middle School Students Score 2nd in National Vocabulary Contest

A team representing Geneva Middle School North recently earned Highest Honors in the 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™—a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students annually. The eighth grade team scored an impressive 194 points out of a possible 200 in the last of three meets this year, placing second in the nation. The eighth graders also placed third nationally in the overall competition with a cumulative score of 562 points out of a possible 600.

Eighth grader Conor McPheron achieved individual Highest Honors in the overall competition with a cumulative score of 58 out of 60 that placed him among the top ten students nationwide within his division.

Competing in the difficult Blue Division of the WordMasters Challenge™, eighth graders Madeline Herwig, Conor McPheron, Garrett McPheron and Margaret Panizzi each earned a perfect score of 20 in the recent meet. Nationally, only 30 eighth graders achieved this result. Other students at Geneva Middle School North who achieved outstanding results in the last meet of the year include eighth graders Andrew Borse, John Michael Easton, Katie Ellis, Ella Horvach, Stephanie Howe and Nicole Walley. The students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge™ by Geneva Middle School North’s 8th grade Language Arts teachers Jessica Bess, Laura Hahn, Natalie Rinaldi, and Kate Ritter.

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, Indiana, which is dedicated to inspiring high achievement in American schools. Further information is available at the company’s website: http://www.wordmasterschallenge.com.

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