Mid-winter brings flurry of academic honors to WRA students

Mid-winter brings flurry of academic honors to WRA students


Congratulations to our dedicated Pioneers for earning academic distinction across a number of prestigious contests this winter.

Matthew Groll '18, Peter Campanelli '18 and Aidan Johnson '18 have been named 2017 National Merit Finalists. All three ascended from the national semifinalist group to receive this prestigious honor reserved for only the top 1 percent of students nationwide.

Nine students were awarded 16 Scholastic Writing Awards, with two students – Charlie Kolodziej '18 and John Qiu '18 – receiving the highest honor — the gold key — and advancing to national adjudication. Other awardees include Matthew Bloom '19, Jade DuVal '18, Ghassan Hamzeh '18, Angela Jaballas '18, Casey Semple '18, Ran Tao '18 and Wema Wachira '18. The Scholastic Art & Writing Award program is described as the nation's longest-running, largest and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens.

Harley Fisher '19 took top honors in Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Poetry Foundation, with Kai Treble '18 as a runner-up.

Matthew Bloom was nominated by the English Department for participation in the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing competition.

In the statewide PenOhio competition, Ohio's interscholastic writing league, 12 WRA writers competed, with the JV team earning first place. Varsity participants include Harley Fisher, Marc Franquesa '18, Flora Jiang '19, Charlie Kolodziej, Jessica Tannehill '19 and Connie Wang '18. JV competitors include Ellie Frato-Sweeney '20, Rainsong Jocas '21, Brigette O'Neill '21, Ilyana Smith '20, Jasmine Wheeler '20 and Chloe Zelch '20.

WRA's Quiz Bowl team finished its season with a 31-6 record, finishing in first place in three of four leagues and qualifying for the National Championship in Chicago from April 27-29. The team answers questions about myriad subjects including science, history and literature. For example, a recent question was:

"These particles were detected using a tank of perchloroethylene in the Homestake experiment. These particles change flavor in namesake 'oscillations' whose discoverers won the 2015 Physics Nobel. For 10 points — name these nearly massless particles that barely interact with matter."

The answer? Neutrinos (of course!).

Varsity Quiz Bowl team members are Charlie Kolodziej, Jasmine Wheeler, Raymond Barrett '20, Grace Foskett '20, Ilyana Smith and Madison Lin '19. JV team members are Dominic Jocas '21, Camille Wheeler '21, Brigette O'Neill, Andrew Huang '20 and Darius Wade '21. Coaches Brandi and Doug Wheeler have an impressive tenure of advancing Quiz Bowl teams to Nationals.

Congratulations to our winning Pioneers and advancing competitors!