In the 41-year history of Michigan Leagues of Academic Games, no school has ever taken first place three years in a row until Angell/Ann Arbor Open elementaries did it last year.
And now they’ve done it again.
The cerebral fifth graders under the leadership of teacher Natalie DePasquale captured the blue ribbon at the annual three-day competition in Grand Rapids today. When the students got off the bus this afternoon, the other students and teachers lined the hallways to clap them in, reveling in their accomplishment.
“Four years is unheard of!” said Angell’s deservedly proud principal, Gary Court. “The entire school community is extremely proud of the teamwork and dedication of the students that resulted in another state championship.”
Court said it’s very unusual that a first/second teacher such as DePasquale would coach fifth graders.
DePasquale in fact has coached eight championship teams, including these last four consecutive ones.
She said she is very proud of the students, who joined the team back in September and have worked hard ever since.
“It’s a really big deal,” she said.
According to DePasquale, several other AAPS elementaries and middle schools competed in the games, and did well. Those results will be announced later.
Student Nana Ampene said all it took was teamwork and dedication.
“We worked together and had fun,” he said.
The games cover a broad range of subjects.
Natalie — You are amazing! Those kids are so lucky to have you as their inspirational leader. Wow. You have such high expectations of your students and lead them with such zest, intelligence and compassion.