In the end, it didn’t quite add up to another state title, but the numbers don’t lie -- Oregon High School’s mathematicians are again among the best in Wisconsin.
The team, which brought home a Class A state title in 2017 and a third-place finish last year, finished second in the Wisconsin Mathematics Council State Mathematics Meet on March 13, where high schools form teams of eight students to compete in individual and team events.
Aaron Hakes and Phoebe Jeske earned second team all-state honors, with Zeke Jeske earning a first team all-state honor. Alex Parker captained the team, while Josh Dieter and Nora McGinty were one point shy of earning all-state honors. Bryanna Salazar and Arik Zintel also competed for OHS.
It’s not the first honor for Oregon’s top mathematicians this year, either.
A group of 15 students participated in the Trig Star competition earlier that month, an annual contest sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors based on the practical application of trigonometry. Oregon’s top finishers were McGinty in third place, Hakes in second place and a first for Zeke Jeske Also, 13 OHS students participated in the American Mathematics Competition Jan. 30, involving over 300,000 students from over 6,000 schools, with top honors earned by Hakes, Jeske, and Dieter.
Long-time OHS Math Team advisor Dave Ebert said students prepare for the competitions by participating in weekly local competitions and by meeting every other week to practice problems from past contests, and to challenge each other to continuously improve their mathematical skills. All students are welcome to participate, regardless of age or ability level.
“This was a wonderful group of students this year, and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with them,” he wrote in an email to the Observer. “We will miss our graduating seniors, and I look forward to working with our returning and new competitors next year.”
Parker, who will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall to major in biochemistry, said he enjoyed getting to know everyone on a team that had personality.
“Mr. Ebert is a cool guy who makes learning fun,” he wrote.
Hakes, who is looking to pursue a career that involves “lots of math and science,” said he always looked forward to Math Club on Wednesdays, because it allowed him to challenge his logical thinking skills in a way that math classes aren’t able to.
“I’m glad that I chose to participate in all of the math competitions this year, because they allowed me to use my math skills in a fun and unique way,” he wrote the Observer in an email.