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HOMER-CENTER: Heritage Conference team takes first place

by JULIA BUGGEY, Gazette Student News Reporter on April 11, 2014 10:50 AM

HOMER CITY — It is that time of year when a select number of Homer-Center High School students take positions on various Heritage Conference teams, looking to represent the school and perform well. This week, these students have competed in the following events: science, math, cooking, current events and impromptu speech.

The science team, consisting of Brandon Vought, Austin Johnson, Jill Overman, Adam McCombs-Hilliard and Hayden Michael, put their knowledge to the test on Wednesday in the company of Brenda Viazanko, a science/chemistry teacher at Homer-Center.

[PHOTO: Homer-Center High School’s math team was victorious in the Heritage Math Competition on Tuesday. Pictured, from left, are adviser Sue Mazur and students Chaeeun Park, Chris Rura, Anthony Caruso, Austin Cramer and Corinne Taylor. (Submitted photo/Homer-Center High School)]

The impromptu speech team, advised by Deanne Magolis, media and English teacher, took third place overall very early on in the week. The Heritage competitors in this category featured the following students: Justin Smyers, Logan Dellafiora, Rick Orr and Lynne Jaworski.

Next up was the current events team, under the direction of Joshua Tobin, world history teacher. Mary Beth Fletcher, Joey Popovich, Michael Sweeney and Ben Wolford took their knowledge to Purchase Line in an attempt to claim a victory.

The Heritage cooking team competed under the guidance of Sue McLoughlin on Wednesday. The team included her son, Stephen McLoughlin, and Casey Roser, Logan Pollack and Heather Paynter.

Math teacher Sue Mazur brought home a victorious math team Tuesday. Congratulations go to Anthony Caruso, Austin Cramer, Chaeeun Park, Chris Rura and Corinne Taylor. Gaining the privilege to go to this event meant that the students interested in attending had to take a shortened test; the 10 best scores on that test that Mazur assigned were used to determine who would be selected.

Taylor, a junior, shared a few thoughts about her experience at the testing sights.

Taylor said, “It was actually kind of difficult. When we first walked in, we were expected to take a test within the time limits, all without using a calculator: 30-minute time limit for 20 different mathematical questions. The questions fell into different categories such as probability problems, definitions and flash card options, but the fact that everything was timed made it more challenging.”

Despite the difficulties that our competitors faced, they finished in the best way they could have. Blairsville placed second and Saltsburg placed third.

“Out of the 20 questions, I believe the highest score that our group had received was 8 — 8 out of 20 — and they seemed even more difficult than SAT questions at times,” Taylor said.

FBLA’s state qualifiers spent Monday through Wednesday in Hershey Lodge, attending the State Leadership Conference, where they take another test that is a variation from the tests that were taken in November of last year. If the students excel in their tests and place anywhere from third to first, they will be recognized at the awards ceremony. The winners that scored the best in their specific testing category received their awards and will be advancing to the FBLA National Leadership Conference (NLC), from June 29 through July 2 in Nash-ville, Tenn.

Also occurring within the last few days, the elementary students have been purchasing brand-new books at their annual Scholastic Book Fair. Today is the last day of the “Book Fair Fiesta.”

These students have also been collecting and bringing in supplies and food for the pet food drive all week. The boys and girls will be able to do so for the majority of the month.

Aside from the competitions, there’s a lot to look forward to at Homer-Center within the next few weeks as the spring season progresses. The YAG members, or Youth and Government, departed today to attend the Model Government Convention. Here, the members are exposed to the process of bills and simulate the passing or vetoing of them. The YAG students will be in the state Capitol Building, also learning about the branches of government and the responsibilities of each. They will be returning on Sunday.

Homer-Center’s Easter break runs from April 18-21. All students will resume classes on Tuesday due to an “In Session Snow Makeup Day.”

Just as a sneak peek, the senior high National Honor Society will be having their annual induction banquet this coming Tuesday in our cafeteria from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The school will attend an assembly explaining Camp Cadet, a summer program available to a handful of students. This will occur on April 23 in the high school’s Byers Auditorium.

Also on the school calendar is the senior play production of “Harvey.” The performance will be at 7 p .m. on April 25 in the high school auditorium, so be sure to save the date if you are interested in attending.

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