St. Joe takes overall first place in math, science tourney

St. Joe takes overall first place in math, science tourney


MADISON – St. Joseph Catholic School came out on top last week during the annual Mississippi Science and Mathematics Tournament hosted by Mississippi College taking home first place overall.  

St. Joe sent 11 students to the tournament this year on Thursday, Feb. 9, and Friday, Feb. 10, along with over 400 other students from schools across the state. 

Eight St. Joe students scored in the top 10 percent in the chemistry, math, and physics tests, and three students scored in the top two percent. 

• Math: Sophomore Teddy Klopman finished in the top 2 percent, and junior J.J. Tice and senior Lauren Abadie finished in the top 10 percent. 

• Physics: Senior Leah Munoz finished in the top 2 percent and senior Daniel Dear in the top 3 percent.

• Chemistry: Junior Andrew Doherty finished in the top 2 percent, junior Lockard Williams in the top 3 percent and senior Mary Topik in the top 10 percent.

This tournament began in 1975 and is the oldest academic competition in Mississippi for high school students. More than 400 students from schools such as St. Joe, Clinton High School, East Rankin Academy, and others attended this year. This was the first tournament since 2020 before the pandemic. 

Julie Muse, a sponsoring math teacher at St. Joe, helped prepare students for the competition and said the quiz bowl competition was extremely hard. 

“Students had one minute to answer college-level questions,” Muse said. “The pressure was intense. Our students showed how smart they are, winning first place in both rounds. The second round wasn’t even close. Our students blew the competition away.”

St. Joe principal Dena Kinsey said she is very proud of her students’ work and accomplishments. 

“We have some amazing students at St. Joe, and I can’t think of a better way to showcase their talent than at the Science and Mathematics Tournament,” Kinsey said. “Taking the top overall award and scoring as well as our students did in the subject-area tests shows how well St. Joe prepares students for college and beyond. This is just one example of the many talented and hard-working teachers and students we have.”

Students attending the tournament on Feb. 10 took a subject-area test in the morning that covered math, biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science. Eight St. Joe students won awards for their scores on the tests.

Students competed in a quiz bowl-type competition that same afternoon featuring four-person teams. Students answered questions on math, physics, biology, and chemistry. St. Joe’s team of Topik, Doherty, Tice, and senior Thomas Klopman defeated three other teams.

The overall tournament winner was based on a school’s total points for the day, with St. Joe taking home the first-place trophy.

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