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Manoa Elementary achieved Highest Honors in the WordMasters Challenge™


January 2017


A team representing Manoa Elementary School achieved Highest Honors in the recent WordMasters Challenge™—a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students annually. The fifth grade team scored an impressive 196 points out of a possible 200 in the first of three meets this year, placing first in the nation.


Competing in the difficult Blue Division of the WordMasters Challenge™, fourth grader Jude Lozano and fifth graders Luci Bannister, Sean Brennan, Lauren Donnelly, Brian Heckler, Selah Koleth and Sophia Urso each earned a perfect score of 20 on the challenge. Nationally, only 12 fourth graders and 67 fifth graders achieved this result. Other students from Manoa Elementary School who achieved outstanding results in the meet include third graders Kimmy Perthes and Nathan Rivers, and fifth graders Sanatra Kao, Jack Kelley, Connor Knorr, Stephen O’Donnell and Monica Rivera. The students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge™ by Sandi Turek and their language arts teachers.


The WordMasters Challenge™ is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships.  Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.  Although most vocabulary enrichment and analogy-solving programs are designed for use by high school students, WordMasters Challenge™ materials have been specifically created for younger students in grades three through eight.  They are particularly well suited for children who are motivated by the challenge of learning new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies.


The WordMasters Challenge™ program is administered by a company based in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is dedicated to inspiring high achievement in American schools.  Further information is available at the company’s website: