South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Phillips takes Third in Think-A-Thon


April 14, 2009

Phillips students work on a problem solving task at the Think-A-Thon. The school's Think-A-Thon team earned Third Place in the recent competition.

Pittsburgh Phillips Think-A-Thon team finished in third place at the 2009 Pittsburgh Public Schools Think-A-Thon competition.

Twenty-four Elementary School teams from across the district competed in the annual event that was held at Brashear High School on Saturday, March 28. The teams competed in activities designed to encourage and ultimately evaluate their creative thinking, problem solving, and ability to perform a variety of tasks as a unit.

The Phillips team consisted of fifth graders Imani Chisom, Madison Custer, Kira Nishimura-Russ, Grant Rauterkus, and Elisa Varlotta and fourth graders Spencer Cebula, Elsa Eckenrode, Benjamin Eddings, Ruthanne Pilarski and Natasha Williams.

The team's success was due in large part to the efforts of several members of the Phillips community who provided direction and guidance to the students for the three months prior to the event. The fashion in which each of these adults shared their talents, time and respect for one another proved to be a perfect model of the teamwork they expected of the children.

Teachers and parents working with the students included: Vivian Varlotta, Angela Juliussen, Lynn Nelson, Jeff Eddings, Mark Rauterkus, Susan Custer and Marsha Ekunfeo.

The highlight of the day for the Phillips team was the perfect score they earned in the "Meeting of the Minds" event. The event required the teams to create and perform an original play based on this year's theme. The children chose to study and write about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The children will present an encore performance of the production at the school's next Parent/School Community Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. All are welcome to attend.


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