‘Phenomenal’ finish for FHS Mu Alpha Theta

Farragut High School Mu Alpha Theta team, first row seated from left, are Luke Kranzer, Kelly Su, Alice Zhang, Erika Yang, Keara Tibbs and Alice Tang. Second row, kneeling from left, are Mike Qi, Sol Kim, Joshua Lin and Vivian Wang. Third row, standing from left, are Prajwal Jagadish, Kenny Hoang, Aiden Cantu, Blake Cragen, Paul Kranzer and Raymond Jin. In back, from left, are Zirui Zhou, Elliot Fang, Aditya Bal, Forest Chen, Kevin Wang and Caden Farley.
Farragut High School’s top math students felt the heat from both Las Vegas and competition July 14-19 when 26 competed in the Mu Alpha Theta Nationals.

FHS’s MAØ team spent the week with more than 50 other teams as schools tested for four days straight, vying for a top spot, stated MAØ member Kelly Su in a press release.

Farragut’s team, which included students and teachers, took home a hard-earned 10th-place in the nation despite “a multitude of mind-boggling questions,” she said.

The high finish is “a phenomenal placement for a public school,” said Kelly Gruhn, FHS math teacher and MAØ sponsor.

FHS’s students placing in their respective categories included Prajwal Jagadish, Alice Tang, Alice Zhang, Forest Chen, Josh Lin, Keara Tibbs, Kevin Wang, Michael Qi, Raymond Jin, Aditya Bal, Zirui Zhou and Elliot Fang.

Another highlight was when Bal was elected as MAØ national officer, serving as parliamentarian this coming year.

She stated a notable squad of Admirals at the competition was Zhou, Fang and Erika Yang — seniors from the Class of 2019.

Behind those seniors, the team organized a multiple school events, aided countless staff and inspired many underclassmen, Su stated.

Four key sponsors were Angela Buckman, Jake Gulledge, Jordan Brown and Gruhn, Su said, adding they “wholeheartedly committed to bettering Farragut’s math club.”

One stood out.

“From instructing for hours to answering the never-ending questions of her students, Mrs. Angela Buckman has not only been a teacher, but also a mentor, therapist and friend,” Su stated. “She is not only unbelievably passionate about math, but (she) also heavily advocates for speaking up and maintaining curiosity. She knows her students like the back of her hand — when to laugh with them, when to comfort them and when to question them.”