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MEEKER I On May 17, Meeker Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders had the chance to participate in the Western Slope’s inaugural CO-STARS (Colorado Sensing Talent and Recognizing Scholarship) academic contest.
The competition spotlighted academics and recognized the talent of local students in their educational activities.
Participating students received hundreds of medals and outstanding performers earned gifts and scholarships. The academic achievements were honored with an awards ceremony in which the students were able to celebrate their efforts.
Local volunteers administered the contests, they provided competition materials and all awards were donated for this event.
CO-STARS previously organized activities on the eastern plains of Colorado. Briana Williams and her husband, Dr. Chris Williams, had been involved in the CO-STARS program and were excited to help it expand to the Western Slope. CO-STARS events can involve students from preschool through high school and allows for interschool competition in addition to competitions for area schools.
The competitions include events in dozens of academic subjects such as mathematics, writing, spelling, oral reading, science, music, art, speaking and storytelling.
In the recent Meeker Elementary School competition, students chose from four events including math, writing, spelling and oral reading. All students in the two grades were encouraged to choose at least two contests while some students participated in all four contests.
The students prepared for their performances over a month-long period.
In the academic tradition, efforts were recognized with assignment of Latin honors. Each entry was recognized with a medal to celebrate the performances. Solid feats earned bronze medals in recognition of “Cum Laude” performances; more-recognizable performances earned silver medals signifying “Magna Cum Laude” accomplishments and top acts were recognized with gold medals and received “Summa Cum Laude” honors. (The Latin “Cum Laude” means with honors; “Magna Cum Laude” refers to great honors; and “Summa Cum Laude” top honors.)
Mason Holliday was named the top overall fourth-grade performer in this year’s contest. Brynlee Williams and Ryan Phalen were recognized as runners-up among the fourth grade.
Jeni Kincher received the award for the top fifth-grade performance. Brandon Lozano was runner-up and Makenna Burke, Ridge Williams and Kirsten Brown tied for third overall among the fifth-graders.
Fifth-grade teacher Kristen Henderson exclaimed, “The CO-STARS academic contest was definitely a positive experience for each and every fourth- and fifth-grade student who experienced it. They will be looking forward to future CO-STARS academic contests for years to come.”
Dr. Williams, who has been involved with several contests reported, “I was impressed with our local students and their efforts. They performed well and deserve to be recognized. I was also impressed with the number and quality of the volunteers who made the event possible. I hope we can see such activities continue in our community.”