TJCA sweeps challenge

TJCA wins seventh and eighth grade division in junior challenge.
Feb. 23, 2014 @ 04:12 AM

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA) came to win the Isothermal Community College (ICC) Junior Challenge on Thursday, taking home first place in the seventh and the eighth grade competitions.

"It feels awesome to win. I've worked with the eighth grade for two years and they won last year," Sally Harbin, coach of TJCA, said. "I only get to work with them for an hour a week during break for lunch. They are so enthusiastic and it's great to work with them."

Competing schools were Chase Middle School, East Rutherford Middle School, R-S Middle School and TJCA. Questions included algebra, composers, history, literature, geography and many other topics. The challenge is held at ICC every year.

"It's a great way for us to share our mission of improving life through learning with younger students in our community," Mike Gavin, director of marketing and community relations for ICC, said. "We welcome any opportunity we have to get middle and high school students on our campus."

In the seventh grade competition, TJCA beat East Rutherford Middle School in the final round 130-95.

"It felt great to win because we spent so much time working on this," Lexie Hardlin, member of the seventh-grade team said. "It was really fun."

Luiz Mendoza, another member of TJCA's seventh-grade team, is who the team relies on for many of the math questions.

"Math comes sort of naturally to me. I like numbers," Mendoza said. "I like the academic team because it's about being with friends and having a chance to compete against schools. Winning is an awesome feeling."

In the final round of the eighth-grade competition, TJCA beat R-S Middle 165-75.

"It feels cool and awesome to win," said Carter Plaster, captain of the eighth-grade team. "Academic team is great because we get some extra knowledge and get to see many different questions."

Each of the teams were given a trophy for winning first place.

Members of the eighth grade TJCA team are John Ellis, Jordan McIntyre, Colin Martin, Beck Crawford, Isaac Hughes, Simeon Wallace, Jessie Conner, Christina Maimone, Carter Plaster, Mary Alice Faunce, Cape Dickerson and Hope Francis.

Members of the seventh grade TJCA team are Lexie Handlin, Turner White, Pierce Robinson, Aaron Smith, Logan McMurry, Luis Mendoza, Quinn Teddy, John Kim, Virginia Vaughn, Grayson Blake and Levi Zimmer.