Skyline School WordMasters team places ninth in the nation

The Skyline WordMasters
The Skyline WordMasters, back row: Claire Carter, Claire McEvoy, Lila Gilbert, and Avery Kapsch. Front row, Alaina Achtel, Benjamin Hext and Maleia Carter.

A team of fifth grade students representing Skyline School in the Solana Beach School District achieved Highest Honors in the WordMasters Challenge a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 125,000 students annually. The Skyline team scored 181 points out of a possible 200 points in the second of three meets this year, placing them ninth in the nation.

Competing in the Blue Division, fifth grader Claire McEvoy earned a perfect score of 20 on the challenge. Nationally, only 39 fifth graders have achieved this result. Other students from Skyline who achieved outstanding results in the meet included Alaina Achtel, Claire Carter, Lila Gilbert and Benjamin Hext. The students are coached by Skyline teachers Amanda Goodman, Stacey Hamilton, and Shannon Applegate.

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words that go beyond regular grade-level vocabulary and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies, expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Applegate said the students prepared by studying a total of 75 words, “getting to know them inside and out”.

“The team feels a sense of accomplishment and, of course, we are proud of our hardworking students,” Applegate said. “Our fifth grade teaching team loves this program because it awakens an understanding to the power of words.”