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June 19, 2014

Suwannee student part of winning national academic team

Live Oak —

Team Florida won the 2014 National Tournament of Academic Excellence (NTAE) in the competition held this week at Walt Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In the final, the academic all-stars beat out teams from Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to the students on Team Florida for winning the National Tournament of Academic Excellence,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “This is an outstanding accomplishment for these bright students. I know their success would not have been possible without their determination backed by a high-quality education, the hard work of Mrs. Cooper and the district coaches, and the support of their teachers and parents.”

The NTAE is a highly academic national high school competition. Each state’s team consists of six students and one coach. As many as six teams may compete against each other in one competition. Players are asked questions in the areas of mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish) and technology. The questions are written by educators from high schools and colleges throughout the nation.

According to team coach Jane Cooper, a 41-year veteran teacher at Seminole High School in Seminole County, “At one time we were trailing Pennsylvania by more than 70 points!  It was a heart-stopping, come-from-behind masterpiece of teamwork.  I’m so proud of them for keeping their wits about them when things looked bleak!”

Team Florida’s members represented school districts across the state:

Matt Hendrick – Suwannee County Schools

Ahreyash Agrawal – The School District of Palm Beach County

Samuel Brenner –Seminole County Public Schools

Alex Chen – Seminole County Public Schools

Mike Fennema – Leon County Schools

Alex Gager – Okaloosa County School District

Alex Chen was also named to the All-America team.  Each of the players received a ring, a medallion, and a $2,000 scholarship.  Chen was awarded additional $1,000 for making the All-America team.

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