By Lori Lyn Lirio
THE Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands math team is now set to compete in the MathCourt National Competition on May 19 in Kansas City, Missouri.
This after an all Asian-American students of the Saipan International School (SIS) dominated the High School MathCourt state championship held at Koblerville Elementary School last April 14.
First place winner Surui Huang, second placer Frederic Dean Michael Guintu, third placer James Lee, and fourth placer Junhee Lee, all from SIS, will make up the CNMI team. They will be joining Jushua Qiu of Marianas Baptist Academy, and Kichang Jeoung, of Agape Christian School.
The CNMI team is set to fly on May 17 to Kansas City.
Huang, a senior at SIS, said she felt happy that her school was sweeping the top places at the competition. The competition started in October, where 200 students from both private and public high schools participated. The elimination and qualifying round continued on November.
By April 14, only 43 students left and battled it out to land a spot for CNMI team. Although they were prepared, Huang said, they encountered challenges in the competition. She said her team, composed of Frederic Guintu and Michael Lee – who finished 12th place, had a hard time in relay round.
“We were sitting apart from each other. We have a math problem to solve [each will work on different process]. We have to finish in three minutes. We cannot communicate but we have to trust each other,” she said.
According to Guintu, the hardest part in the competition was to prepare and practice all the time.
“Even if I don’t feel like studying, my parents would always make me study for math.”
Guintu has been joining the MathCourt competition since his kinder year.
SIS Principal Ron Snyder said he was thankful for the students and their coach/teacher Fred Guintu for their hard work.
“We are looking forward to be part of the CNMI team.”
In the past, Snyder said the Public School System was very supportive of the CNMI team even if it was composed of students from private schools.
“They have always been supportive in terms of travel costs,” he said.
According to teacher Guintu, it was the first in five years that SIS dominated the top places in the competition.
“In the past, it was always the Agape Christian School or the Marianas Baptist Church,” Guintu, who used to teach at ACS, said.
The teacher said it was not his first time to coach for the MathCourt but first time to work with the SIS students.
“Basically, I practiced them every day, even during the Spring break.”
According to Snyder, SIS has integrated the MathCourt training in their curriculum.
“We have elective class that students can sign up for in the last period. We have a lot elective classes, one of them is Math enrichment. We have a strong Math program here.”
MathCourt winners, individual:
Gold – Surui Huang, SIS, 12th grade
Silver – Frederic Dean Michael Guintu, SIS, 9th grade
Bronze – James Lee, SIS, 9th grade
4th –Junhee Lee, SIS, 11th grade
5th – Jushus Qui, Grace Christian Academy – 11th grade
6th – Kichang Jeoung, Marianas Baptist Academy, 10th grade
7th –Kaiping Wang, Agape Christian School, 10th grade
8th – Shubin Yuan, Agape Christian School, 11th grade
9th – Min Jung Kim, Mount Carmel School – 12th grade
10th – Microl Chen – Marianas High School, 10th grade
11th – Rae Min, Marianas High School, 11th grade
12th – Michael Lee –SIS, 11th grade.
Gold – Saipan International School – James Lee, Junhee Lee, Mark Nam
Silver – Marianas Baptist Academy – Kichang Jeoung, Victoria Nicole Santos, Minju Kang
Bronze – Saipan International School – Surui Huang, Frederic Dean Guintu, Michael Lee
4th place – Jushua Qiu (GCA), Rae Min (MHS), Seongbeom Song (GCA)
5th place – Jan Emmanuel Bobadilla (MCS), Daniel Montano (SSHS), Aldwin Ray Batusin (MCS).