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MATHCOUNTS Takes 1st in PA, 8th-Grader Makes State Team

April 9, 2019

Radnor Middle School MATHCOUNTS Team Wins First Place in State Competition; Student Skyler Le Makes State Team, Will Compete in National Competition

Charles Yang, Skyler Le (team captain), Thomas Le (coach), Cailyn Lee, Lauren Yoo

Mathematics is hard work, but the Radnor Middle School MATHCOUNTS team proved putting in the time and effort earns big rewards when they won first place in the Pennsylvania State Competition in Harrisburg on March 16. The championship was the team's first in more than 20 years (1996).


"I've worked with most of the team members for a long time, and I've known some of them for years," said team captain Skyler Le, an RMS 8th-grader who also placed in the top 10 in the individual competition (4th) along with 8th-grader Lauren Yoo (10th). "Even though some members were participating for their first time, it felt like such a long journey that by the time the competition came around, we had developed trust with one another." 


Skyler's finish earned him a ticket to the National MATHCOUNTS Competition in Orlando, FL from May 11-14 as a member of the four-student Pennsylvania team. The team's coach Thomas Le, who also happens to be Skyler's dad, will also travel to Orlando as the coach of the Pennsylvania team, a position he earned as the coach of the top MATHCOUNTS team in the state.


"Everyone maintained a positive attitude, did their best and good things happened," said Mr. Le, who honed his coaching acumen during many years teaching math on Sundays at the Main Line Chinese Culture Center. "I asked all of my students to have the courage to live up to their full potential and they exceeded my expectations."


The other three students to earn spots on the Pennsylvania team are Vivian Loh from Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh; Ethan Liu from Valley Forge Middle School in Wayne; and Thrisha Kalpatthi from Marshall Middle School in Wexford. 


For the most part, the RMS MATHCOUNTS team has been practicing each week, and occasionally several times a week, since December. In addition to earning first in Pennsylvania, the team took second in the Delaware County Chapter Competition on February 16.


"In addition to the formal MATHCOUNTS sessions at school, I spent months doing some light training, and then one month of intense training leading up to the State Competition," Skyler said.


"I am very appreciative of all my students as they gave up a lot of free time," Mr. Le said. 


The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national middle school mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging "bee" style contests. The Competition Series has four levels of competition - school, chapter, state and national. To learn more, visit the MATHCOUNTS website.

Pictured (left to right): Charles Yang, Skyler Le, coach Thomas Le, Cailyn Lee and Lauren Yoo.