WESTON, FL—For the fourth straight year, students from Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston, FL have secured a First In Math® Online Program National Championship.
Caption: The Top Ten players in the school, along with Principal Heather Hedman-DeVaughn, bottom right. Back row, far left: FIM rep Mark Losey and Gigi Forsman, Broward County's Elementary Math Supervisor—far right is Laurie Rich Levinson, School Board of Broward County member. Far right middle row, former student Janae Bell.
In the All Schools National Ranking, the Top 100 Students at Manatee Bay averaged 17,660 Stickers per student, breaking the record they set last year of 17,158 stickers per student.
In addition, Mantee Bay had four teams among the Top Ten Teams in the Nation, All Grades: Alive71fl - Team Leader Annejeanette Washington (3rd); Silk43fl - Team Leader Samuel Allison (4th); Flair97fl - Team Leader Lisa Weingartner (7th) and Skill47fl - Team Leader Lisa Leider (10th).
Principal Heather Hedman-DeVaughn—a driving force for First In Math success at Manatee Bay—is understandably proud. "My message to students was to see and feel the power of when individuals get together for a common purpose. They have proved that individually we can do great things—but collectively we can do even more! I am so proud of them and so fortunate to have teachers who lead and encourage this kind of life changing success."
Long-time First In Math Florida representative Mark Losey has been to the Broward County school several times, but this visit left him even more impressed. “My word for Manatee Bay is persistent,” says Losey. “They just don’t give up on a goal.”
According to Losey, the entire Manatee Bay community exhibits what FIM creator Robert Sun likes to call ‘Social Math’ at it's finest. “Through First In Math, and with the guidance of some amazing educators, these students have been practicing the four C's that lead to 21st-Century skill acquisition all year long,” says Losey.
Losey spells out the four C’s as: “COMMUNICATING together to encourage and lend guidance, COLLABORATING to maximize progress for each minute invested, CRITICAL THINKING and solving problems—not just with math but with time constraints, access constraints, naysayers, and any other inhibitors keeping them from their ultimate goal—and last but not least, CREATIVITY, including developing advanced strategies to keep excitement and the energy level high all year to reach a goal.”
In addition to Losey, there was also a surprise guest. Janae Bell was in fifth grade when Manatee Bay initially brought in the First in Math program. This fall she will begin her sophomore year at Harvard. “Janae attributed her First in Math experience as one that helped lead her to such a high level of success—that means a lot to all of us,” says Losey.
Lisa Weingartner was Bell’s fifth-grade teacher, and remains an active advocate for First In Math, leading one of this year’s top four teams in the nation.
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