Local elementaries’ academic team Superintendent’s Cup comes to an end due to school consolidation

Published 11:03 am Friday, January 12, 2018

Consolidation of the three Danville elementary schools next school year is causing the annual Superintendent’s Cup academic competition to come to an end next month.

John Erwin is curriculum and technology resource teacher at Toliver Elementary School and has been the school’s academic coach and coordinator of the local Superintendent’s Cup competition since it began eight years ago.

Erwin said the competition was started as a way for the three elementary school academic teams to practice for the annual Governor’s Cup academic competition that’s held in February.

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Being a part of a school’s academic team is an outlet for some kids to show what they know, Erwin said. And they get excited about being on a team and winning medals and honors for academics.

Next year, however, there will be only be one academic team for Danville’s fourth- and fifth-grade students because they will all be attending Edna L. Toliver Intermediate School.

Kelly Bedtelyon, senior media manager for the Danville school district, said other options are being considered for their students. 

While discussing a possible answer to a question, Sasha Wade, center, is hidden by notebook pages from teammates Aiden Lanigan, left and Moira Kelly.

“While there will be only one academic team, the consolidation of elementary schools allows us to offer more extracurricular activities for elementary students. We’re currently exploring options like a robotics team, the Science Olympiad and more,” she said. “Currently our elementary advisory group is focused on staffing assignments. Once teams are in place, the principals will assess time, resources and capacities to determine school offerings — both during the school day and extra-curricular as well. This includes, but is not limited to, athletics, the arts, academics and socio-emotional development.”

Sam Dove works a mathematics problem during the Superintendent’s Cup Thursday afternoon.

Megan Dove, a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher and academic coach for the first time at Jennie Rogers Elementary School, said academic teams are divided into three categories. “Quick recall — the buzzer team that you may traditionally think of; written tests on five subjects and a composition; and future problem solving, where a team of four students work to solve a given real-world problem creatively.”

During the past eight years, the Superintendent’s Cup has been made up of three rounds — one each in December, January and February, with each elementary school hosting a round. This year, however, two rounds will be in January since the Governor’s Cup state meet is in early February.

Erwin said Thursday’s meet at Mary G. Hogset Elementary was the second of the three rounds held locally this school year. He said the Governor’s Cup district competition for all elementary teams across Kentucky begins in early February. Regional competitions will be late February and early March.

Aiden Lanigan, a fifth-grader and captain of Jennie Rogers’ academic team, said he thought it was important for him to be on the team, “So I can show people what I know.” 

He said he’s usually sort of unlucky and doesn’t win anything, but he was on the team that won the first round last month. 

“I want the school to be proud of us as a team,” Aiden said.

Erwin said he wasn’t sure how the academic team will be organized next year since all fourth- and fifth-graders will be attending the same school.

But for now, there is a lot of individual school spirit and friendly competition.

Dove said, “JRE won the quick recall match last month in our practice district competition for the first time in many years. That was a big deal for our school and for these kids. It was awesome to see the kids realize how hard work can pay off.”

She added, “Now we are working to maintain the momentum, keep up the studying, and understand that the true competition of the Governor’s Cup is still on the horizon.”

Ben Tibbles, left, captain of Hogsett Elementary’s academic team, answers a question as teammate Jonah McKnight anxiously awaits to see if it was the correct answer.

Fifth-grader Ben Tibbles, who is captain of the Hogsett Elementary team said, “If you like competition but you also like questions, then this is a great thing to do!”

Hogsett Elementary team member Kean Burgess ponders the answer to a question.

Sasha Wade, from Jennie Rogers, concentrates on a question and is ready to push the buzzer.

Medals for Thursday’s meet are displayed in the school library while competition takes place between Danville’s three elementary schools.