Starr’s Mill Deaf and Hard of Hearing Academic Team headed to nationals

Starr’s Mill Deaf and Hard of Hearing Academic Team headed to nationals

Laim O’Connell Named Most Outstanding Player

For the eighth time in the past 12 years, deaf and hard of hearing teacher Cindy Hartpence has coached a team to the National Academic Bowl for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School Students that is sponsored each year by Gallaudet University.

This year’s team placed in the top four at the South Regional Academic Bowl at the North Carolina School for the Deaf. They finished with an impressive nine wins and one loss record, which qualified them for the national tournament that will take place at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.  April 1-4. The team will compete against the top four teams from each of the four U.S. regions.

The Starr’s Mill High team members are Liam O’Connell, Anna Martin, Ayla Hooper, and Ira Colendrino. Cindy Hartpence and Samandra Muniz coach the team.

At each region competition there are 20 teams, and the one student who exemplifies academic excellence throughout the competition is awarded the honor of Most Outstanding Player. This year the honor went to senior Liam O’Connell.

The Academic Bowl for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was established to foster a pursuit of academic excellence, promote a spirit of academic competition and sportsmanship, and provide social opportunities for the development of collegiality and lifelong friendships.

Pictured: The team and coaches pose with administrators of Gallaudet University after securing a spot in the National Academic Bowl for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School Students following the team’s performance at the regional competition. Pictured (back row, from left) are Joanne Benefield, Gallaudet University officer; coaches Cindy Hartpence and Samandra Muniz; Roberta Cordano, Gallaudet University president; and (front row, from left) students Liam O’Connell, Ira Colendrino, Anna Martin, and Ayla Hooper.