Middle schools advance to national Academic Pentathlon competition

The academic excellence of Garland ISD students is gaining national attention thanks to Austin Academy for Excellence and Jackson Technology Center for Math and Science. Teams from both schools recently competed at the United States Academic Pentathlon National Competition.

Academic Pentathlon is an exciting program that engages students of all achievement levels in a variety of challenging academic contests that cover the subject areas of fine arts, literature, mathematics, science and social studies. The theme for 2017–18 was Africa. Nationals were held last month in Omaha, Nebraska, with GISD students taking home several top prizes.

Austin Academy sent a seventh and eighth-grade team after claiming victories at the district and regional levels. At nationals, Austin won 17 individual medals across all five subject areas. The eighth-grade team also finished second in the nation overall. This marks Austin’s fifth-consecutive year to advance to and place at nationals. Sponsors Lauren Houston and Sherry Conner said students spent many hours studying during school, after school and even during holidays like spring break.

A seventh-grade team from Jackson Technology Center also advanced to nationals after excelling at district and regional competitions. Earning two individual medals after competing against dozens of schools from across the nation, this included a gold medal in the mathematics category.  Jackson’s overall medal count for the season topped 75. Sponsors Barbara Robinson and Christina Sweek say they are extremely proud of their Academic Pentathlon students.

Both schools were recognized by Garland ISD’s Board of Trustees during the June 12 work session.