Ten Beaufort County School District elementary and middle school students earned perfect scores in the fall edition of the national WordMasters Challenge, the nation’s longest-running language arts competition for elementary and middle school students.

In the 2017 fall meet:

  • One third-grader, Henry Platt of Hilton Head Island IB Elementary, was among only 14 third graders in the United States with perfect scores.
  • Eight fourth-graders – James Anderson, Camden Kennedy and Jack Marshall of Bluffton Elementary; Ansley Perrenoud of M.C. Riley Elementary; Bryna Haley, Connor McMorrow and Jenna Schoenstra of River Ridge Academy; and Coleman Jacobi of Red Cedar Elementary – were among 86 fourth graders nationally with perfect scores.
  • One seventh-grader, Evelyn Roque of Bluffton Middle, was among only nine seventh graders nationally with perfect scores.

In addition to individual student honors, two schools earned Top 10 finishes nationally:

  • Bluffton Elementary’s 10 highest-scoring fourth-graders averaged 193 out of a possible 200 points, good enough to rank No. 2 in the nation out of 292 participating schools. Those students were: James Anderson, Camden Kennedy, Miley Victoria King, Jack Marshall, Anna Grace Morris, Josef Prochazka, Camila Ribera, Kiera Taylor, Adrian (A.J.) Ullman, Justin Wallace and Aiden Zanandreas.
  • Hilton Head Island IB Elementary’s 10 highest-scoring fifth-graders averaged 180 out of a possible 200 points, good enough to ranked No. 7 in the nation out of 313 participating schools. The eight top-scoring fifth-graders were Hannah Dye, Matt Perdue, Naijara Alvarez, Brody Cook, Jack Fielding, Lillian Frenzel, Nathaniel Greenberg and Charles Brennen Powell. Right behind but with identical scores were Ronin Clark, Sophia Lazor, Jack Linkimer, Taylan Olcer, Mason Petty, Alejandro Ramos, Elena Richard and Jackson Voekel.

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that encourages students to become familiar with and use new words that are considerably harder than grade level.