Having competed admirably earlier in the year at the Global Round, Aquinas College accomplished the arduous feat of qualifying for the World Scholar’s Cup Global Round, with the team returning home from the Sydney, Australia, World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) with a 56-medal haul – 16 on the junior side, eight gold and eight silver; and 40 on the senior side – 18 gold medals and 22 silver.
“The clanging of those medals did not come easy,” said Aquinas College 12th grade student Arianna Millsap, who was awarded the School Top Scholar, gold medal. Millsap ranked 35th overall out of 800 scholars.
“The plane rides were not the only dreadfully long aspect that scholars had to endure. To be successful, we had to make many sacrifices. We thank God, Aquinas College, our parents and the scholars for taking up the torch and allowing us to compete,” said Millsap.
The Aquinas College team stood out among the more than 2,000 scholars from 40 countries.
The Aces junior team – comprised of 10th grade twin brothers T’Ronn Strapp and D’Ron Strapp; ninth grade students Alicia Elden, Kelshaunna Colebrooke and Ashli Burrows; and seventh grade student Destiny Moss – emerged victorious in competitive events such as the team debate, collaborative writing, scholar’s challenge and scholar’s bowl.
The senior team also proved their academic prowess, winning silver and gold medals in several World Scholar’s Cup categories. In the senior division, 11th grade student Antonio Thompson and 12th grade student Danae Morrison were also recognized as top scholars. Thompson was ranked 74th and Morrison was ranked 84th out of 800 scholars respectively. Twelfth grade student Demicia Deveaux was awarded the Davinci Award.
Also comprising the Aces World Scholar’s Cup senior team were 12th grade students Ciera Sweeting, Sierra Ferguson, Demicia Deveaux, Laurence Lavillle and Malik Knowles; 11th grade students Leander Braynen, Dayna Wilson, Zion Virgill, Dana Morrison, Dre Knowles, Jahami Bastian, Shiloh Smith, Dariq Chase, Canaan Cooper, Ricki Hanna and Megan Braynen; and 10th grade students Eviesha Williams, Jasmine Hanna, Jacovia McKenzie and Daijah Johnson.
Elizabeth Morrison, Aquinas team coach and Social Studies head of department, said they were happy to once again participate in the WSC.
“The students’ performances attest to the quality of instructions that they have been receiving at Aquinas over the years, thus the medal count was not a surprise. Compliments to the faculty of Aquinas for laying the foundation from which students could easily launch onto the international stage,” said Morrison.
WSC consists of three rounds — the Regional Round, the Global Round and the Tournament of Champions (ToC). The latter is the final and most prestigious round. Eight Aquinas senior teams and two junior teams qualified for the Tournament of Champions at Yale University in November 2019.
Schools can field unlimited teams at regional rounds. Any given team can only participate at one regional round per season. Teams that qualify at regional rounds can participate at their choice of Global Rounds.
The World Scholar’s Cup isn’t just for the “top” three students at each school, it’s meant to reach deep into the student population, inspiring a love of learning and introducing participants to new subjects and skills.
The WSC is inclusive, encouraging, interdisciplinary, discussion-based, forward-looking, team-oriented and whimsical. The goals are to motivate students of all backgrounds to discover new strengths and practice new skills, and to inspire a global community of future scholars and leaders.
In Team Debate, teams face teams from other schools and countries, three-on-three, and argue motions related to the them.
In Scholar’s Bowl, the team races the clock to answer questions using a special clicker.
In Collaborative Writing, they work with their team to argue positions related to the theme in written form.
In Scholar’s Challenge, they take a test called the Scholar’s Challenge, an opportunity to win individual medals and other prizes across multiple subjects.
They also get the opportunity to participate in the Scholar’s (Talent) Show, where they perform whatever they’d like, whether they’re a professional dancer or a mathematical constant reciter; in the Scholar’s Ball, where they have the chance to dance together to high-powered music, even if they have no idea how; and in the Scholar’s Fair, where they get to share their culture and traditions with other scholars from around the world.
Founded by Daniel Berdichevsky, the inaugural World Scholar’s Cup took place in Korea in 2007.
The first “global” round followed a few weeks later, bringing together students from Korea, Singapore and the United States.
The idea behind the World Scholar’s Cup was to create something different than traditional academic competitions and conferences: a celebration of the joy of learning, a tournament as rewarding for the team that came in last as for the team that came in first, an enrichment opportunity that motivated students not just to demonstrate their existing strengths, but to discover new ones.
Form that small beginning, a “world finals” more aptly described as a “world starts” – the WSC has grown to reach tens of thousands of students in dozens of countries.
AQUINAS COLLEGE’S WORLD SCHOLAR’S CUP MEDAL HAUL
Junior Individual debate
Silver medal – D’Ron Strapp
Gold medal – Ashli Burrows and Alicia Elden
Scholar’s team bowl
Silver medals – D’ Ron Strapp, T’Ron Strapp, Alicia Elden, Ashli Burrows, Kelshaunna Colebrooke and Destiny Moss
Silver medal – Ashli Burrows
Gold medal – T’ Ron Strapp, D’Ron Strapp and Alicia Elden
One silver medal – Kelshaunna Colebrooke and Destiny Moss (Art); D’Ron Strapp (Literature)
One gold medal – Ashli Burrows (Art)
Two silver medals – T’Ron Strapp, (Science and Art)
One silver and four gold medals – Alicia Elden (Science, Art, History, Literature, Special Area)
Silver medal – T’Ron and D’ Ron Strapp and Alicia Elden
Gold medal – T’Ron and D’Ron Strapp and Alicia Elden
School Top Scholar – Alicia Elden
World Scholar’s Champion Scholar in the Sydney Global ranking #77 overall out of 1,000 – Alicia Elden
Senior Scholar’s challenge
Silver medals – Danae Morrison, Jacovia McKenzie, Daijah Johnson, Zion Virgill, Dre Knowles, Dana Morrison, Arianna Millsap, Malik Knowles and Jasmine Hanna
Silver medals – Zion Virgill, Malik Knowles, Daijah Johnson, Jasmine Hanna and Laurence Laville
Gold medals – Dana Morrison, Jahmai Bastian, Danae Morrison, Sierra Ferguson, Arianna Millsap, Antonio Thompson, Dariq Chase, Ciera Sweeting and Canaan Cooper
Scholar’s team bowl
Silver medals – Dariq Chase, Canaan Cooper, Antonio Thompson, Arianna Millsap, Malik Knowles, Jasmine Hanna, Leander Braynen, Demecia Deveaux, Dayna Wilson, Zion Virgill, Dre Knowles, Dana Morrison, Danae Morrison, Jacovia McKenzie and Dajaih Johnson
Gold medals – Jahmai Bastian, Eveshia Williams and Shiloh Smith
Silver medals – Daijah Johnson, Canaan Cooper, Sierra Ferguson, Laurence Laville, Dayna Wilson, Rickia Hanna, Jahmai Bastian, Antonio Thompson, Dana Morrison and Malik Knowles
Gold medals – Dariq Chase, Dre Knowles, Jasmine Hanna, Danae Morrison, Leander Braynen, Jacovia McKenzie and Arianna Millsap
Scholar’s challenge: subject medals
One silver medal – Jasmine Hanna, Dayna Wilson and Leander Brayen
Two silver medals – Rickia Hanna, Dre Knowles and Dariq Chase
One silver medal and one gold medal – Megan Braynen
Two gold medals – Jacovia McKenzie
Three silver medals – Laurence Laville
Two silver medals and one gold medal – Eviesha Williams and Ciera Sweeting
One silver medal and two gold medals – Antonio Thompson and Arianna Millsap
One silver medal and three gold medals – Dana Morrison
Three silver medals and two gold medals – Zion Virgill
Two silver medals and three gold medals – Malik Knowles and Shiloh Smith
Silver medal – Danae Morrison, Jacovia McKenzie and Daijah Johnson
Gold medals – Ciera Sweeting and Sierra Ferguson placed ninth out of 800 scholars
Dariq Chase, Antonio Thompson and Canaan Cooper placed second out of 800 scholars
School Top Scholar – Arianna Millsap
World Scholar’s Cup Champion Scholars – Arianna Millsap ranked 35th overall out of 800 scholars
Antonio Thompson ranked 74th overall and Denae Morrison ranked 84th overall out of 800 scholars
Davinici Award – Demicia Deveaux