Palmetto High School students earn numerous awards

Academic teams and individual students from Miami Palmetto Senior High School recently earned awards in a number of regional, state, and national competitions. Several Miami Palmetto mathematics students earned top honors in the 2009-10 David Essner Competition sponsored by the University of Miami. Sijie Fan, who has scored in the top 10 in this competition each of the past four years, placed first among all competitors. Also achieving recognition were Jerry Yeh (fourth place), Alex Barreiro (sixth) and Forrest Voight (13th). Alex and Forrest both placed in previous Essner competitions.

This marks the ninth straight year that a Miami Palmetto student or students have been among the top five in the twopart competition, held annually in memory of David Essner, a graduate mathematics student at the University of Miami. The competition is open to all secondary schools, public and private, in Miami- Dade County.

In American Mathematics Competitions (AMC), Jeffrey Gu, Ellora Sarkar and Seung Cho were named AMC 10 winners, while Sijie Fan, Alex Barreiro, Forrest Voight, and Kali Yang earned recognition on the AMC 12 exam. Additionally, Sijie and Alex qualified to take the AIME, or the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, whose top performers are invited to the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad.

Four Miami Palmetto students won accolades in the Florida Mu Alpha Theta state competition, Apr 16-17, in Orlando. The team of Alex Barreiro and Forrest Voight placed first in computer programming. As individuals, Alex placed first in integration, and third in limits and derivatives, while Forrest took 16th place in calculus applications and 17th place in differential equations.

Also earning recognition were Daniel Gu, 10th place in functions and 19th place in equations and inequalities, and Jeffrey Gu, 13th place in equations and inequalities. As a team, Palmetto placed 10th in the poster competition.

In previous regional competitions, Palmetto consistently has placed among the top 10 schools. Both the Algebra 2 and Calculus teams have placed in the top five. Miami Palmetto faculty members instrumental in the students’ success were Carol McKinney, coordinator for the Essner and AMC competitions, and Sara Kohl, faculty sponsor of Mu Alpha Theta. Susan Kaplan serves as department head.

In Social Sciences, Samantha Agron, Joelle Deleveaux, Alyssa Rosenfeld, Lucia Ruan, Ellora Sarkar and Emily Guerra represented Palmetto High in the Euro Challenge 2010 National Competition in New York on Apr. 27. The team, led by AP European history teacher Cristina Rodriguez, had advanced to national semifinalist status following preliminary round competition at Florida International University on Mar. 23.

In its fifth year, the Euro Challenge competition is sponsored by the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, and supported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During the competition rounds, high school teams answer questions from a panel of economic experts regarding the European economy and the euro, and also present an in-depth analysis of a specific economic problem within one of the 16-member “euro area” nations.

Palmetto’s group presentation focused on unemployment in Ireland. This is the third consecutive year that a team from Palmetto has achieved national semifinalist recognition.

Participating in this year’s high school Geography Bee on Apr. 20, at the West Campus of Miami Dade College, were Lucia Ruan, Samantha Agron, Quianrun Cui, Ellora Sarkar, Neela Persad, and Joelle Deleveaux. Geography teacher Peggy Kratz served as team sponsor.

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