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Bulloch students compete in Penny Sikes Math Tournament
Sikes math 1 for web
Parents and family members watch the participants of the 25th Annual Penny Sikes Math Tournament, held Saturday in the gymnasium of Southeast Bulloch High School. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    Students from every elementary and middle school in Bulloch County competed last weekend in the 25th annual Penny Sikes Math Tournament held at Southeast Bulloch High School.
    This event was started in 1983 by former Bulloch math teacher Penny Sikes because the only math competition in the area was a high school tournament at Armstrong State in Savannah. Every other math tournament in Georgia was held in the Atlanta area, making it nearly impossible for Bulloch County teams to go. There were approximately 100 competitors participating in the first tournament.
    Since then, the number of schools and students competing has steadily risen. Farmers and Merchants Bank has for years been the sole sponsor of this event, which allows participating schools to avoid having to pay entry fees, something charged at every other academic competition.
    This year, nearly 150 students were entered. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the students each took an individual test that lasted one hour.After a snack break, the students entered the gym for the Ciphering competition. In the two rounds of ciphering, each school had teams of four students competing in eight question rounds which lasted two minutes each.
    After the regular competition was over, awards were handed out. Mrs. Sikes was there in person to hand out the trophies to the winners.
    Raymond Zhang of Julia P. Bryant Elementary won First Prize, while David Moore and Michael Connors — both students at Mill Creek Elementary — took second and third places in the fifth grade competition. In the sixth grade competition, James Connors of William James won 1st Prize, while Daley Stephanek and Cameron Kahley — both of Southeast Bulloch Middle - took 2nd and 3rd places.
    Next came the Ciphering awards: in the 5th grade competition, Julia P. Bryant’s team, coached by Jen Hurst, won 1st Place, while Mill Creek’s team took 2nd Place and Sallie Zetterower’s team took 3rd Place. In the 6th grade competition, William James’ team, coached by Tom Borck, won first place, while Southeast Bulloch Middle’s team took second place and Bulloch Academy took third.
    Finally, the trophies were given out for best overall scores. In the fifth grade competition, the Mill Creek team, comprised of Savannah Bennett, Abby Fernandez, David Moore, Michael Connors and Scarlet Shumate, won First Place Overall. The team from Julia P. Bryant won second place, and Mattie Lively won third.
    In the sixth grade competition, the William James team, comprised of Fielding Keeley, James Connors, Joseph Vanterpool, Clay Cribbs, Luckey Merritt, Branden Wood, Jamarcus Mathis, Kristen Karrh, Trisha Mitra, Sasha Natson, Bre’Ann Mikell and Owen Hurst, won First Place Overall. The team from Southeast Bulloch took second, and Bulloch Academy was third.
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