St. Mark’s fourth-grade class once again proved themselves to be among the nation’s top logophiles (lovers of words). A team of students from the Class of 2029 achieved Highest Honors in the recent WordMasters Challenge—an annual national vocabulary competition involving nearly 125,000 students. The Marksmen scored an impressive 189 points out of a possible 200 in the first of three meets this academic year, placing third in the nation.
“These boys have been so dedicated to the team effort,” said fourth-grade teacher Lauren Pepe, who coached the boys for this competition. “From the first day, they’ve been excited and motivated, even when the workload was heavy. It was so fun seeing them react to the news, jumping around their rooms, and giving each other virtual high fives. Best of all, they all tangibly recognized how their hard work paid off.”
Competing in the very difficult Gold Division of the WordMasters Challenge, each member of the team played an important role in their shared success. Nicholas Cho and Nate Saenz earned special recognition for scoring a perfect 20 on the challenge. Nationally, only 37 fourth-graders achieved this result. Ten other Marksmen scored in the top 5% of participants nationwide: William Cho, Dax Kane, Evan Kaufman, Austin Wagner, Bennett Zambrano, Ward Beasley, George Brown, Benjamin Ezell, London Han, and Baron Stanley.
“WordMasters is all about understanding how words are used in our everyday lexicon and finding the connections they have to other words,” explained Ms. Pepe. “The big undertaking is the boys essentially creating mini-dictionaries. Meanwhile, we also create these wild word maps where we try and visualize the various connections, write creative stories using the words, play games, and even have a special WordMasters hand signal. It really pushes their critical thinking skills in ways they’ve never been challenged before, but they rise to the occasion!”
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.