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Area Students Win Medals at County Academic Pentathlon

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY — Local students claimed a number of medals last week at the 2020 Madera County Academic Pentathlon, which was revised rather than cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The middle school competition was held last Friday (May 1) and moved to an individual online format, with students able to compete from home.

Medals were sent to students at their home and a video awards announcement was released on the Madera County Superintendent of Schools Student Events Facebook page for students and families to view.

The Pentathlon was held in coordination with other counties throughout the state that elected to continue with a modified event. County coordinators worked together to create a state-wide Pentathlon day. Students took tests in the areas of fine arts, literature, science and social science. All tests centered on this year’s theme “In Sickness and In Health: A History of Illness and Wellness.”

“What a timely topic for this year’s competition,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County superintendent of schools. “Students were able to put into practice some of the things they learned while studying infectious diseases and pandemics throughout our history.”

The Academic Pentathlon was originally scheduled for March 13 and was postponed the day before competition. The date was changed multiple times due to COVID-19 and finally moved to an online format.

All schools elected to continue to participate and 186 students competed online, 76 percent of the original number of students originally registered, which is higher than the state average at other county academic pentathlons.

“The event looked quite different from past events, but one thing that didn’t change was the students’ dedication to the program and being their best,” said Massetti. “They handled the many unforeseen changes to the event like the champions they are.”

Students had been studying and preparing for competition since September when they were given the materials.

Participating schools included: Coarsegold Elementary, Eastin-Arcola, Howard Elementary, Jack G. Desmond Middle, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle, Mountain Home Charter, North Fork Elementary, Oak Creek Intermediate, Ranchos Middle, Raymond-Knowles Elementary, Rivergold Elementary, Sherman Thomas STEM Academy, Spring Valley, St. Paul’s and Thomas Jefferson Middle Schools.

Here’s a list of mountain area medalists for the 7th and 8th grade competition:

Fine Arts 7th Grade

Gold — Laura DeSilva, North Fork Elementary School
Silver — Jackson Olney, North Fork Elementary School
Silver — Chuck Cunningham, Mountain Home School Charter

Literature 7th Grade

Silver — Cade Fullmer, Spring Valley Elementary School
Bronze — Jackson Olney, North Fork Elementary School

Science 7th Grade

Gold — Kianna Cortes, Howard Elementary School
Silver — Benjamin, Olney North Fork Elementary School
Silver — Violet Kelly, Spring Valley Elementary School
Bronze — Tessa Camacho, Spring Valley Elementary School

Social Science 7th Grade

Gold — Laura DeSilva, North Fork Elementary School

Fine Arts 8th Grade

Gold — Tigerlily King, Mountain Home School Charter
Silver — Wil Lodge, Mountain Home School Charter

Literature 8th Grade

Gold — Tigerlily King, Mountain Home School Charter
Silver — Elise Bauer, North Fork Elementary School

Science 8th Grade

Silver — Aidan Feskorn, Spring Valley Elementary School

Social Science 8th Grade

Gold — Wil Lodge, Mountain Home School Charter
Bronze — David Perez, North Fork Elementary School


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