Eight students from the School of Science and Engineering Magnet (SEM) at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview came up big at the University Interscholastic League Academic Meet held May 28.
The students earned their school its first State Academic Championship in the UIL Calculator Applications competition. A SEM student also won first place in the state mathematics UIL competition for the third year in a row.
With all speech and academic events completed, SEM is currently in fourth place in the overall state academic sweepstakes standings.
SEM teacher Josh Newton, the 2013 Dallas ISD Teacher of the Year who has served as SEM’s UIL coordinator for the past seven years, said his students were excited about their accomplishments this year.
“This year was very fulfilling for these students to be able to return this year and win the State Championship,” Newton said. “Many of these students have been working towards this goal for the past three or four years, so seeing their hard work pay off was very rewarding.”
Newton attributed the team’s success to the leadership of team captain Sirjan Kafle. Kafle led team meetings and taught and trained team members while also helping them work towards mastering various problems they’d face during competition.
“Without (Kafle’s) leadership and the assistance he provided to other students on the team, I do not think our teams would have been as successful as they were this year,” Newton said.
Though this year was SEM’s first state title in UIL Calculator Applications, SEM has accumulated three state UIL Academic Team Championships, including those in Computer Science in 2000 and 2001. This year marks the third consecutive year SEM has had a student place first in a math event at state level UIL competition.
In addition to their state UIL accomplishments, Newton said an additional benefit for these students is that all students who compete at the State UIL Academic Meet are eligible for college scholarships if they attend college in the state of Texas.
See SEM’s detailed results from the May 28 State UIL Academic Meet:
Number Sense – 3rd place team
Calculator Applications – 1st place team
Sirjan Kafle – 1st place
Murali Subramanian – 6th place
Mathematics – 2nd place team
Sirjan Kafle – 2nd place
Murali Subramanian – 4th place