Front (left to right): Spring Branch Academic Institute students William Santoso and Andrew Lau with Director Patricia Kassir Back (left to right) : Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees President Chris Gonzalez and Superintendent Jennifer Blaine
Last June, third grade students from the Spring Branch Academic Institute (SBAI), a school for highly gifted students in Spring Branch ISD, competed in the Math League’s national virtual competition and they had impressive results!
Andrew Lau, now a fourth grader at SBAI, won first place in the Third Grade Division. He had competed throughout the 2020-21 school year at local, state and national levels both as an individual and part of the SBAI Dragons third-grade team. At each level, the difficulty of the math problems increased.
“I practiced past test sets and looked at different books about number sense,” Lau said of his preparation for the competitions.
When asked what was different about competing online versus in person, Lau noted that the number sense test was more difficult in the online contest because it was about speed. Having to refer back and forth between the screen and written notes took extra time.
“Andrew exemplifies what we foster at SBAI,” SBAI Director Patricia Kassir said of Lau’s top place finish. “Practice and perseverance allow us to get really good at something. We’re so proud of the example Andrew sets for his Dragon classmates. His ethical leadership, sense of responsibility and discipline, and his kind heart are all qualities we value and nurture at SBAI.”
Third grade team receives highest score in national competition
At the national Math League competition in June, 399 students from 200 schools participated in the contest. The third grade Math League team from SBAI, comprised of Lau and William Santoso, received the highest score in the national Team Round, thus earning the school a 7th place Sweepstakes finish.
SBAI Math League sponsor and school counselor Kayman McIver coached the students.
Recognition for hard work and wins
Lau’s first place win and the SBAI third grade team’s accomplishment were celebrated and recognized at the September 20 Spring Branch ISD regular board meeting. Kassir was on hand to introduce the students to the board members. She and their families beamed with pride as the students received medals of recognition from Superintendent Jennifer Blaine and Board of Trustees President Chris Gonzalez.