Submitted by the Massachusetts team
We are the Wildcats from Milton, Massachusetts. Milton is one of the top places to live in the country, according to Money Magazine. Besides our great school system, I think Money Magazine sees that we are a smaller community less than 10 min. from Boston, have a State Park, The Blue Hills, for skiing and hiking, and in ten minutes we can be at the ocean. In the neighboring community, the city of Quincy, you find the birthplaces of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. If you check the statistics in Boston Magazine, they have Milton listed as one of the top school system in the state.
We also have this really young rapper named Younggod aka Dmoney. Our school system differs from others as Milton is the home to one of the few public French Immersion programs in the country which means you can have all your lessons taught in French in the younger grades to help you become bi-lingual. We also have the highest concentration of Irish in the country (40 percent).
Our team members are Jack Caljouw (Sophomore), Aaron Chiu (Senior), Pat Kelly(Senior), Devon Stanley (Junior), and Mona Yuan, (Junior). Most of us became involved with Lifesmarts through classes taught by Mr. Arenburg. He had us doing practice quizzes in our classes. which led to an interest of a Lifesmarts' club after school.
We have prepared for this competition by practicing with buzzers, Teamsmarts, and online quizzes. Our key strategy is repetition so we will be familiar with the tournament format and the questions. However, the Lifesmarts'competition here in Massachusetts was extremely tough. In the competition we were not always aware of our score, so we would be really nervous and scared. Our opponents were CHALLENGING CONTESTANTS, especially since most of them had more experience than us. In the final round of the state tournament, we were practically tied with our opposing team until the end. It was really nerve-racking. As a team, this year was our second time competing at the state level and it will be our first time at the Nationals.
Our coaches are Mr. Arenburg and Mrs. Mikels. Mr. Arenburg teaches Personal Finance and Technology. He started Lifesmarts as an extracurricular activity at our high school in 2006. Mrs. Mikels is a math teacher and has assisted Mr. Arenburg for the past four years with this club.
We are looking forward to traveling to Philadelphia. Not only do we get to miss school, we get an extended vacation. We feel honored to be able to represent the State of Massachusetts and our High School. We are excited to meet new people and to see how we will do in the competition.
Thank you for hosting us. It should be a great four days.