Next stop for Woodlands Academy MathCats: ICTM State Finals

All 23 Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart participants in both team and individual events at this year’s Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (ICTM) regional contest are state finals qualifiers. Overall, the all-girls college-preparatory high school from Lake Forest placed third in Division 1A at the recent 2024 ICTM Region 20 Competition held at Niles West High School in Skokie.

 Individually, Woodlands Academy senior Aanya Sahu advanced to the April 5-6 ICTM State Finals at Illinois State University in the Precalculus event. Also advancing were freshmen Rei En Chew and Emanay Piracha in Algebra 1, along with sophomores Maggie Glunz, Emmy Seliga and Maya Whiteman in Geometry.

In the team events, Woodlands Academy’s MathCats joined forces to make strong showings at the regional level. Due to its first-place finish, the Geometry team of sophomores Maya Whiteman, Maggie Glunz, Emmy Seliga, Chloe Mensah and Lucy Petherbridge qualified for state.

Also advancing by winning at the regional competition was Woodlands’ Junior-Senior 8-person team of Yaya Cabrera, Aanya Sahu, Gianna Keuer, Gracie Jennings, Claire Smylie, Avery Drehkoff, Lauren Janos and Fiona McNulty.  

The MathCats’ Algebra 1 team of freshmen Emanay Piracha, Rei En Chew, Madeleine Lillis, Luciana Regal and Talia Sevim also qualified for state as did the Frosh-Soph 2-person team of Maya Whiteman and Maggie Glunz along with the Calculator team of Emmy Seliga, Ida Psencik, Judith Koukol, Claire Smylie and Rei En Chew.

Woodlands Academy Principal Rocco Gargiulo, a former math teacher at the school, offered congratulations. “This wonderful news confirms Woodlands’ commitment to STEM education. It also acknowledges the dedication of MathCats co-moderators Dr. Valerie Rickert, Shao-Yun Guo, Courtney Pomije and our entire math department to leading our outstanding girls along the way to becoming empowered young women.”

According to its organizers, the ICTM State Math Contest aims to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement, encourage independent study, stimulate interest in mathematics, and provide a wholesome meeting ground for mathematics students and teachers through academic competition. It has been an annual event since 1980.