The Harris Middle School math team competed in the Regional Math Competition on April 18 at Middle Tennessee State University. Front row: Trey Hippe, Zander Phillips, Meagan Barnett and Taylor Overcast. Middle row: Melynda Whitaker, seventh grade math teacher, Maddie Lempin, Nancy Dominguez Lopez, Braden McTigue, Gustavo Ramirez-Oliva and Sheila Phillips sixth grade math (magnet) teacher. Back row: Chelsea Philpott eighth grade math teacher, Sydnee Edwards, Colt Williams, Brittany Herman and Jesse Smotherman.
More teachers would love to have a student like Taylor Overcast.
Taylor Overcast from Harris Middle School was first place Regional Math Competition winner and Trey Hippe placed 15th.
The Harris Middle School sixth-grader won the Regional Math Competition on April 18 at Middle Tennessee State University. She beat approximately 120 sixth-graders from 31 schools in this region, including students from private schools, said her proud teacher, Sheila Phillips. The Harris team placed fourth overall. Student Trey Hippe placed 15th.
But it's Taylor's attitude -- her love of math -- that Phillips said she loves.
"She is one of those students every math teacher dreams of having," Phillips said. "She is self-motivated in learning. She has the ability to communicate her learning of math in ways most kids can't."
Taylor said she competed because she loves math, especially word problems.
"It's fun," she said. "It's different."
Sheila Phillips, left, sixth grade (magnet) teacher at Harris Middle School, says she is proud of Taylor Overcast, a student of hers who won the sixth-grade Regional Math Competition at Middle Tennessee State University.
(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
The math competition consisted of 30 word problems, which students had one hour to answer. Taylor said she correctly answered 27 questions.
As soon as she returned from the competition, Taylor wanted to take the seventh-grader competition test as practice, Phillips said -- she only missed five of 30 questions.
"This is her inner desire to challenge herself," Phillips said. "She is a very well-rounded child."
That self-rounding includes a variety of activities, largely in sports. Taylor said she is active in her school's golf, soccer and swimming teams, and she plays piano.
The competition at MTSU was Taylor's second math contest this year. She placed 10th among sixth- to eighth-graders at a regional MathCounts contest.