We Are Still SCIENCE TOWN, USA
CMS Earns Seventeenth Consecutive Science Olympiad State Championship
A lot of things have changed since 2003, the iPhone and Kindle Reader just two of the most noticeable technological improvements. We have had four presidential elections during that time … yet, in that time, one thing has remained constant — Clinton Middle School (formerly Bell Street Middle School) has been the state champion in Science Olympiad.
A new location, The Citadel, and a new format, Regionals and State, did not deter the budding scientists from their appointed round with greatness. Having fewer than twenty students (for the first time in well over a decade) on the team did not dim their commitment or pursuit of excellence.
Science Olympiad is a marathon, not a sprint, and most students just don’t have the intestinal fortitude or ability to defer gratification for such high stakes, mental marathons. Not these CMS students! Not this CMS team! Not this time! Surrounded by an awesome array of coaches and mentors, this year’s team excelled in an unprecedented fashion.
Being far from the comfortable surroundings of Newberry College, the CMS team had to venture not once, but twice to The Citadel for competition. But each time they traveled, they prevailed. In fact, the competition this year was, if anything, a reassertion of the doggedly resilience of a team who dominated the competition.
This year’s competition was a lot of firsts for South Carolina. In addition to having a site change, a format change, and a time change (competition was later in the year), the new State Director challenged all schools with competing in ALL 23 events. In the past, 20 events had been the cap.
With an unusually small team and even more events than in years’ past, this year’s team could have quit. The students could have walked away.
But there’s a funny thing about this year’s Clinton Middle School’s kids; they’re remarkably stubborn and they’re amazingly astute.
Rather than packing it in or shirking their tasks, they double-downed and worked hard. You see, they see something most people now have forgotten. Hard work comes from good effort; good effort takes dedication, sacrifice, and a personal desire for improvement. There is a no quick fix or easy answer.
As referenced earlier, there were a lot of changes in SO … but there was a constant … CMS students hoisting the State Championship trophy for an unprecedented seventeenth consecutive time.
A recap of the competition revealed the following, CMS won:
First place in 14 (FOURTEEN) events (Anatomy and Physiology, Battery Buggy, Circuit Lab, Crime Busters, Density Lab, Disease Detectives, Fossils, Herpetology, Heredity, Meteorology, Potions and Poisons, Road Scholar, Thermodynamics, and Water Quality);
Second place in two events (Boomilever and Dynamic Planet: Glaciers); and
Third place in three events (Roller Coaster; Solar System; and Write It, Do It).
There were only four events when they didn’t make the podium.
Science Olympiad had a new look, a new feel, and a new locale in 2019 but an old mainstay (dare I say “old” when we’re talking about middle school students) atop the fray…for an incredible seventeen consecutive years…a longer span than any of the competitors has been alive.
A review of Report Card scores of all schools reveals EVERY competing school had a higher Report Card rating than CMS. Five schools were ranked Excellent; the others were either Good or Average; only one was Below Average…and yet again the “Little Engine That Could” did what it did best: win.
Why? The answer is quite simple … because of caring, committed, competent, and compassionate adults working with them on Saturdays, during the week, on holidays, and at night. These adults have bought into the vision of the head coach, Terri O’Shields. All the coaches believe “these [SO] students will change the world.”
There’s an old anonymous saying, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Guess there’s a lot of truth to that…you only must look at the CMS Science Olympiad team to see it!
Well done, team!
Team Members: Joey Ardelt, Kaelyn Bell, Janie Boyce, Jack Brent, Grin Darden, Jules Darden, Grayson Fleury, Keegan Fortman, Anna Kiley, Mari Lane, Jordan Marthers, Shane Nelson, Junia Nolan, Lindsey Pysell, Wes Ray, Bailey Suarez, Rachel Vondergeest, and Gracie Wiggins.
Coaches: Head Coach, Terri O’Shields; Assistant Head Coach, Dianne Summer.
Event Coaches: David Bell, Jimmy Jacobs, Grace Johnson, Keith Johnson, Jimbo Langston, Michael Mack, Patrick Nelson, David O’Shields, Diane Rischbieter, Scott Shiflet, Dr. Jason Smith, Dianne Summer, Ami Vaughn, Megan Walsh, Dr. Stan Walsh, and Brandon Wolfe.