District 7 Wordsmiths Show Their Skills at National Competition

A group of Spartanburg School District 7 third-graders shined at a national vocabulary competition recently, earning nearly a perfect score and landing them in first place among thousands of other students from across the country. The third grade Odyssey team for gifted and talented students placed first in the nation among 112 teams in the in the first of three WordMasters Challenge meets this year. Students representing the team are: Sebastian Cartwright, Reese Cooper, Virginia Delaney, Sophie Groover, Thomas Hyde, Gabe Malarney, Sam Mitchell, Wade Cooper Neely, Davis Norton, Addie Ursy, and Charlotte Ward. Susan Holcombe coached the standout students in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge.
Other students who achieved outstanding results on the first test include three students who earned perfect scores, 20 out of 20. Fourth graders Steven Egge and Anna Wang, and Lydia Lawrence each received highest honors where nationwide only twenty-two 4th graders and eighteen 6th graders did the same out of the thousands that partipated. Steven and Anna are students in Mrs. Anne Martin’s Odyssey class, and Lydia is a student in Mrs. Connie Kunak’s English class at McCracken Middle.
The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.
Congratulations to all our students for outshining the thousands of their peers nationwide.

District 7’s Third Grade Odyssey team gathers for a picture after earning First Place in the Nation in the first meet of the WordMaster Challenge. Pictured are: From the left: Sam Mitchell, Thomas Hyde, Wade Cooper Neely, Sophie Groover, Virginia Delaney, Reese Cooper, Addie Usry, Sebastian Cartwright, and Gabe Malarney Missing: Charlotte Ward and Davis Norton.

Steven Egge and Anna Wang, and Lydia Lawrence each received highest honors (not pictured - Anna Wang)

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