Woodlands Academy makes strong showings in math contests

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s participation in this year’s Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (ICTM) contests added up to multiple successes. Overall, MathCats team members from the all-girls college-preparatory high school in Lake Forest finished third in their Division 1A regional competition and then in ninth place at the state level.

Due to COVID-19 protocols this year, there was only one event at the regional level with students participating at their home school either in person or remotely. Then, in lieu of a traditional state competition, ICTM used the regional event results to determine overall state awards.

Highlights include a fifth-place finish at state for Woodlands Academy’s Algebra 1 team following its second-place finish at the regional level. In other events, the MathCats Pre-calculus team took first-place regional honors and finished ninth at state. Woodlands’ Geometry event team finished in second place while the Calculator team finished third at the regional competition. Third-place regional honors also went to the school’s Algebra 2 and freshman/sophomore eight-person teams. Woodlands Academy’s junior/senior eight-person team finished fourth at the regional level.

Individual event highlights include senior Ingrid Hu’s first-place regional finish in Pre-calculus followed by sixth-place honors at state. Junior Cindy Yao finished second in Algebra 2 competition at the regional level and then in 10th place at state. Third-place regional honors went to Woodlands Academy freshman Abby Hironimus in Algebra 1 and sophomore Anne Kelly in Geometry. Freshman Aanya Sahus finished fourth in Algebra 1 and senior Hanna Bryce placed sixth in Pre-calculus at the regional competition.

“I’m so proud of our MathCats and club moderator Dr. Valerie Rickert for their achievements in the regional and state competitions,” Head of School Meg Steele said. “They confirm Woodlands Academy’s commitment to teaching and leading our outstanding girls along the way to becoming empowered young women in career fields such as STEM.”

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


Note: Depicted in the photo are junior and senior class members of MathCats during one of this year’s club meetings.