In the past 13 years, Buchholz High School (BHS) math team has brought home the national title 12 times. This year, 61 students took a trip to the 2019 Mu Alpha Theta competition on July 14 to 19 located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team returned home with a record-breaking 242 awards and a total of 7,672 points. However, one student’s first place trophy stood out among the rest.
Senior, Yared Tadesse, won the most prestigious award for an individual student competitor, the Kalin Award. The award is based on both excellence in math achievement and service to Mu Alpha Theta, according to the Alachua County Public Schools press release.
Tadesse was interviewed by the organization’s governing board before receiving the award. The board consists of educators from both the high school and collegiate levels and representatives from national math organizations. The award includes a $4000 prize and a $1000 grant for the winner’s home school.
Initially he wanted to beat other people, but then the team became his family, Tadesse said. He began to want to work harder not just for himself but for his peers.
Will Fraxer, the BHS math team sponsor and coach, said Tadesse is a special kid and incredible representative of BHS and the school district.
“I remember when I learned something new or interesting, I would feel this ‘click’,” he said. “That click was really addicting, and when you share it with someone else, it feels just as good.” Tadesse has taken his love for math one step further by tutoring students in elementary and middle school during the math team’s summer camp.
By Morgan Hill
*all information attributed to Alachua County Public Schools press release*