This year’s middle school Region One Battle of the Books competition champion is the South Texas ISD team. The team competed against seven other school district teams through a virtual competition held on January 27, 2021. This was the fourth annual Regional Battle of the Books Competition.
The winning team is comprised of three students from South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy (Rising Scholars Academy) in San Benito and one student from South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy (Preparatory Academy) in Edinburg, including: Maryhan Saleh, 8th-grader at Rising Scholars from Harlingen; Arun Dhevan, 8th-grader at Rising Scholars from Harlingen; Isabella Reyna, 8th grader at Rising Scholars from La Feria; and Rachel Kwon, 7th-grader at Preparatory Academy from Mission.
The students read five books and participated in weekly virtual practice sessions with the district librarians to prepare for the competition. These four students were the top-scoring students in the district Battle of the Books competition.
Rising Scholars librarian Mrs. Norma Sanchez says,“I am both ecstatic and proud. These students definitely had the support of their librarians and their teachers, but it was their own desire to be the Regional champions of Battle of the Books that ultimately fueled them to put in the necessary hard work. In addition to all the weekly practice sessions with district librarians, the team met virtually just about every day to study. They created their own supplemental study materials and challenged each other to do better. A definite bonus was that they created friendships that in a virtual school year might otherwise not have been possible. I am awed at how these students took charge of their learning, put their plan in motion and successfully accomplished their goal. As an educator, the best feeling comes from seeing your students succeed knowing you were simply guiding the learning process while they were completely in charge of the actual learning. ”
South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy and South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy are the two middle schools within South Texas Independent School District. The campuses serve 7th and 8th-grade students from three counties in the Rio Grande Valley – Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy – through a rigorous academic curriculum, enabling them to earn above-grade-level coursework and develop the skills and habits necessary for success in higher learning while still in junior high. For additional information, visit www.stisd.net or call 1-800-21STUDY.