Deborah Harris, director of curriculum for the Mingo County school system, said Matewan Elementary School claims the title of “First in Math.” The school’s five classroom teams have a combined average that makes Matewan Elementary the top-ranked school in the state.
Gilbert Elementary has the top achieving student in the state of West Virginia and 12th in the United States. He is Josh Dean, a sixth-grade student of Linda Nagy at Gilbert Elementary and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Dean of Gilbert.
Matewan students were honored in a celebration held May 5. Harris said the First in Math program is an innovative approach to mathematics education based on the popular 24-game series, a proven teaching-tool, which for more than a decade has helped children sharpen basic math skills, such as computational fluency, problem solving, number sense, critical thinking, and pattern sensing.
Students in the First in Math program earn electronic award stickers by solving problems of increasing difficulty beginning with one-step addition and culminating with complex algebra. The stickers earned by each student are combined for a “Team Total.”
This academic year, students participating throughout Mingo County have so far solved over 3.2 million math problems on the First in Math site. Students work on their “stickers” both during the school day and at home.
Barbara Asteack, vice president of Suntex International, creators of the 24-game series and First In Math, was at Matewan Elementary along with Mingo County central office staff to personally hand out prizes to team members.
During the celebration at Matewan Elementary, Josh Dean was presented atrophy, hat and medallion from Ms. Asteack and Mingo County School Superintendent Dwight D. Dials.
Josh has been honored for the last two years, being the top student in his grade throughout West Virginia, but this year, he was the top student in all grades.