Danbury's students fared exceptionally well in recent math competitions. Roger's Park Middle School student Segar Mehta placed third in the nation (Yes, that's right. Third in the nation!) in the Math Counts club program and at Danbury High School, junior Brendan Gilloti scored an outstanding 141 out of 150 points on the American Math Competition Test.
Coach Thai Nguyen has been a teacher at DHS for eight years and coaching the Math Club for two. “I love coaching the kids, it's wonderful to be working with such bright individuals.”
Dr. Phyliss Bartoli, math teacher at DHS and also the Chairperson of the secondary math department for grades 6-12, said that the math programs at the middle and high school levels are very connected, with middle school teachers cheering on the high schoolers, many of whom they had taught.
“This year we saw the depth of the program, how the middle school cultivated them, preparing them for high school level,” said Bartoli.
“First the Math Teams had to pass the Fairfield County level, which is very competitive. The students who went on to Ridgefield and competed at the state level were selected by Nguyen,” said Bartoli.
The American Math Competition is a twenty-five question exam that is administered to students at their school. It is open to any student who is interested in competing in the contest. “We had the largest group of kids who competed in the AMC, 193 kids who chose to participate. That says a lot about the kids here, to take on a challenge like this. Teachers do a great job of promoting the exam, and the best and the brightest came out to compete. We had a winner at each grade level.”
The math students were honored at a recent school board meeting, where they received certificates for their accomplishments. The results included:
Rogers Park Middle School Math Count Team placed second as a team at the chapter competition and placed seventh at the state competition. The team members are Anjali Pai, Michael Li, Luke Wang, and Julia Yu of New Milford. Dr. Sheila Sundaram works diligently with the DHS Math Team students as well.
The Broadview Middle School Math Count Team reached Gold Level status in the Math Counts club program. At least twelve students scored 80% or better on the Ultimate Math Challenge. Those team members are Liat Shenker, Azizah Shaffeeullah, Thomas George, Segar Mehta, Max Efrat, Evan Coco, Andrea Rivera-Luna, Rahul Malayappan, Benjamin Hellman, and Tyson Sisco. The coaches are sixth grade math teacher Ellen Meyer and eighth grade teacher Delores Kelsey.
The Danbury High School Math Team competed at the state level. Those students were Priyanka Altman, Rares Barbu, Alexander Coco, Michael Lau, Matan Markind, Jinesh Mehta, Kashish Singhal, and Yuriy Slabicki.
Two DHS teams took on the American Math Competition. The team made up of junior Brendan Gillotti, senior Nicholas Corso Passaro, and junior Benjamin Gillotti scored a total of 312 points. The team of senior senior Yuriy Slabicki, junior Michael Lau, and senior Matan Markind scored a total of 252 points.
Individual winners included senior Yuriy Slabicky with 94.5 points, junior Brendan Gillotti scored 141 points, sophomore Ryan Kerr scored 96 points and freshman Ryan Hyatt scoring 78 points. With the best possible score being 150 points, these students impressive winning scores stood out.
Dr. Bartoli was happy to see girls involved in the competition and would like to see more. “As women, we don't really see math as a career option. We have 20 students going to Boehringer for a field trip tomorrow to learn about engineering. That kind of opportunity was never promoted to me when I was a young girl and I wish it had been. There are so many avenues to explore and women need to be willing and have an open mind to look at the endless opportunities in math.”