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Grayson County Academic Team wins District 12 championship

The Grayson County High School Academic Team hosted the District 12 Governor’s Cup academic competition earlier this week and came away the overall winner of the event, narrowly defeating Edmonson County for top honors. By securing the District 12 title, the Cougars’ Academic Team earned a spot in regional competition which takes place in two weeks.
Grayson County placed first in Future Problem Solving and second in Quick Recall, with the following students receiving individual awards and advancing to regional competition:
  • Math – Jamison Brashars earned a 1st place finish, with Jacob Hart placing 2nd and Jackson Hart coming in 5th place. 
  • Social Studies – Noah Coles came in 2nd place and Bradley Hicks placed 3rd
  • Science – Jamison Brashars won 1st place. 
  • Language Arts – Jessica Hughes came in 3rd, while Sam Embry placed 4th
  • Arts and Humanities – Brandie Davis came in 5th place. 
  • Written Composition – Trevor Jones earned 1st place, followed by Jessica Johnson who came in 2nd.
 “Of course, I am extremely proud and I have always had the feeling that our students are as smart here as they are anywhere,” Sharon Sloan, Grayson County High School Academic Team coach said.
Smart and dedicated, for there are no cheering crowds urging the academic competitors to victory. The students have only themselves to rely on for motivation to not only perform at a high level, but to put in the work that is necessary even when so many of the student’s schedules are cluttered with responsibilities.
 “We do have students that are involved in sports, band and some have a job, so it requires a lot of dedication from our students to work hard and get to this level of accomplishment, Sloan said. “It’s not a spectator sport, so it’s just the student’s drive to be successful” that allows them to prepare and compete.
Prospering in the highly competitive arena of academic trials requires more than just showing up on time. Students must put in the time in order to achieve the great accomplishments the Grayson County academic squad has attained.  
“It takes a great deal of commitment to do the necessary studying, because you do have to study to develop your skills, in order to be competitive,” Sloan state. “And we just have kids who are willing to make that commitment. We’ve been very fortunate.”
Academic Team success, though, is not foreign to Grayson County High School. The current team is competently carrying on a rich tradition of academic achievement at the high school.
“We actually placed 5th in the state in Quick Recall for four years in a row,” Sloan proudly said. “And had several students advance to state in written assessment, so we have had a successful team for quite some time.”
Sloan, who has been head coach of the Academic Team since the fall of 2009, has received invaluable input and support from assistant coaches Erina Duvall and Jonell Henderson, as well as Ellen Thomas, who coaches the Future Problem Solving division of the Academic Team.  
Sloan, her staff, and the student participants receive support from not only inside the walls of Grayson County High School, but also from the upper management structure of the school system.
“Mr. (Barry) Anderson has been extremely supportive of our academic team ever since I took on the role of head coach,” Sloan said about the Grayson County School’s Superintendent. “He provides us with money where we can participate in regional and state competitions, and purchase the materials we need, which is not required at all. There are a lot of schools that don’t even put enough money in their Academic Team budget for their students to take a bus and compete.
“If he (Anderson) had not been so supportive we would not have the program we have. He’s made it possible,” Sloan added.
Anderson surely recognizes the talent and skill level necessary to climb the ladder of success at the highest level, and at Grayson County High School, those attributes and the school’s tradition of Academic Team excellence are difficult to miss.
Sloan was insistent in recognizing and thanking those who helped host last week’s event at the high school. All gladly gave of their time and efforts without benefit of receiving payment:
  • Roger Williams’ Multimedia Publishing class worked hard to create the programs for our event.  
  • Lauren Risinger’s, Brooklyn Alexander’s, and Megan England’s programs were selected to distribute at the academic tournament. The other schools were delighted to have programs their students could have as keepsakes.  
  • Beverly Dowell’s students -- Alex Burden, Hannah Phillips, Matthew Carter, Patrick Williams, Zach Downs, Mekiah Cochran, Lashley Seo, Payton Gates, Brandie David, Katie Clark, Ty Johnson, Cierra Eubank, Kayla Decker, and Jacob Hart, all contributed art pieces that were  displayed in our Commons Area. It was a beautiful way to welcome visitors into our school.  
  • Misty Whitney and Cody Adamson developed menus, and did a wonderful job preparing and serving our guests.  
  • Madison Willis, Jo Tratar, Autumn Milliner, Alyssa Haycraft, Courtney Harmon, and Miranda Shelton worked tirelessly two different nights to assist in this effort. They were on call Saturday and graciously accepted two days of work when the weather intervened. They created a bi-fold display of their program’s accomplishments in the serving area.

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