La Plata It’s Academic team wins regional competition

La Plata High School’s It’s Academic team earned the top spot in the annual Charles County Public Schools competition held Dec. 6 at the school. This is the fifth consecutive year the team from La Plata has taken first place at the Charles County competition.

The La Plata three-member team of co-captains Michael Gill and James Hume, and Trevor Jansen won in the championship round with a score of 260 points against North Point and Thomas Stone high schools. The teams from North Point and Stone participated in a tiebreaker question, as both teams were initially tied for second place with 250 points, and the Stone team won the tiebreaker.

Each year, the county regional winner goes on to compete in a regional match. The La Plata team will compete against Churchill and Northwest high schools that will air March 24 on NBC4. As the second-place regional winner in the championship round tiebreaker, the Stone team earned a chance to compete in a regional match that will air next fall.

Representatives from the Greater Waldorf Jaycees presented the La Plata team with a $500 scholarship for its first-place win. Other student members of the La Plata team include Jasmine Washington (alternate), David Aliff, Jenna Burtch, Chelsea Chen, Garrett Cooksey, Donya Forohar, Elizaveta Gievaya, Jordan Harris, Amber Heneghan, Mikayla Johnson, Hannah Kalmus, Sophia Khan, Kayla Lyons, Napoleon Magpantay, Marian Marteja, Nicole Moran, Grace Na, Maddy Nicholl, Aashka Patel, Mohammed Rafique, Kasey Scroggins, Margaret Stine and Samantha Yorio. La Plata testing coordinator John Holmes and science teacher Michelle Schoenbauer coach the team.

As second-place winners, the Stone team received a $250 scholarship from the Jaycees. Student members of the team include Captain Kerry Ward, Brandon Hill and Lyndsay Rivers. Stone students Nevaeh Woodland (alternate), Gerardo Vladimir Castro, Brook Ellis and Malachi Ray also are on the team. Stone German teacher Nancy Jeffrey coaches the team.

For participation in the competition, all other high school teams received a $250 scholarship from the Jaycees. Schools compete in the event by selecting three members of their team to participate in the rounds. The other three-member teams were: 

Henry E. Lackey High School – Captain Andrew Wright, Garrett Batchelor and Sterling Jakob Moorehead. Completing this team are R.G. Bolton (alternate), Jacob Dodohara, Annie Landgraf, Jewel Lester, Rachel Ruffin, Arthur Scherer and Ford Vachira-Anan. Lackey science teacher Neal Duggan coaches the team. 

Maurice J. McDonough High School – Captain Jordan Coley, Camdin Edge and Michael Fialkowski. Also on the team are students Alyssa Ader (alternate), Zoe Amowitz, Denver Bennett, Symney Cameron and Kayla Craik. McDonough English teacher Courtney Abell coaches the team. 

North Point High School – Captain Adam Cullen, Andrew Fan and Carl Wachowski. Students Amara Gammon (alternate), Andrew Cullen and Amber Wachowski complete the team. Coaches of the team are North Point Spanish teachers Deen Stewart and Moriah Rochlinski. 

St. Charles High School – Captain Robert Frederick, Renee’ Deminne and Stephen Duranske. Completing the team are student members Hunter Donn (alternate), Drew Carter, Pierre Elijah Dela Cruz, Darius Dantzler, Amara Kazim, Katherine O’Meara and George Southworth. St. Charles social studies teacher Matthew Howard and Meghan Potter, an English teacher, coach the team. 

Westlake High School – Captain Migue Darcera, Megan Carr and Hanna Schaffner. Westlake students Gillian Gibson (alternate), Samya Alexander, Lillian Branch, Nashay Gree, Aiden Lehn and Kaya Shepherd also are on the team. Westlake social studies teacher Natalie Finch and Amanda D’Onofrio, a Latin teacher, coach the team.

The Dec. 6 competition will air on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12 starting next week at 7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The event will be posted on the school system website,

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.