Mrs. Rita Cotterell, an upper school math teacher at Oak Hill Academy, took a group of 7 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to Union County College for the Math Counts competition for Middlesex, Union and Monmouth Counties on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

The MATHCOUNTS Competition Program is a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style contests. The program exists in all 50 states plus U.S. territories and the Department of Defense and State Department schools. (more information at

The team from Oak Hill competed against public, private and parochial schools from those three counties in a multi-round competition.  The competition begins with a 30 question test covering every strand of mathematics in word problem format.  The students then move on to the target round where they are given 2 high level word problems that need to be completed in 6 minutes. This is repeated 4 times for a total of 8 questions.  Subsequently, the top team from each school takes a test of 10 questions requiring teamwork and leadership.  We finished 1st out of all of the independent and parochial schools and 6th place overall!  This is the second highest place that we have ever finished after last year’s 2nd place, but on the individual side, it was the first time Oak Hill or any private school placed a student in the Top 10 individuals (200+ competed); and, we placed TWO!!: eighth graders: Thomas Wang and Michael Zhang. 

Monmouth County Private School

The Top 10 individuals compete head to head in the Countdown Round of fast paced math problems in front of the entire room of competitors, coaches and family members.  It was bittersweet as Thomas and Michael had to go head to head at one point with Thomas emerging victorious and ultimately finishing 2nd overall while Michael was an impressive 6th.  Thomas will now advance to the State rounds representing both Oak Hill and the three counties (Monmouth, Union and Middlesex) in our region.

The team was made up of Thomas Wang, Michael Zhang, Jake Fradkin, Nicholas Geissler, Mason Garber, Grant D’Orsi and Alex Mitchell.  They meet biweekly on Friday afternoons.  Congratulations to Mrs. Cotterell and her team for such an outstanding accomplishment!

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