MIDDLE SCHOOLERS MASTER NATIONAL VOCABULARY COMPETITION

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January 5, 2021

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Eighth-grade team gets highest honors, places eighth in the U.S.; sixth grader one of only 26 in the nation to get perfect score.

Notre Dame sixth-grader Alec Wernis earned a perfect score in the WordMasters Challenge.


A team representing Notre Dame Middle School achieved Highest Honors in the recent WordMasters Challenge, a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 125,000 students. The Notre Dame eighth-grade team scored an impressive 161 points out of a possible 200 in the first of three meets this year, placing eighth in the nation. 

Competing in the difficult blue division of the WordMasters Challenge, Notre Dame sixth-grader Alec Wernis earned a perfect score of 20 on the challenge. Nationally, only 26 sixth graders achieved this result. Wernis and his teammates were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge by NDMS teachers Kelly Simon, Meredith Scott and Tina McLaughlin, who were proud and pleased with their achievements. 

"Alec is an exceptional student," said McLaughlin, who teaches sixth grade reading and writing, and seventh-grade religion. "He is a hard worker, organized, and always puts forth his best effort. His perfect score was well deserved. I'm very proud of him as well as our eighth-grade team, which also performed admirably in this year's challenge." 

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. 

Notre Dame Middle School has been competing for more than 10 years in the annual competition.

Although most vocabulary enrichment and analogy-solving programs are designed for use by high school students, WordMasters Challenge materials have been specifically created for younger students in grades three through eight. They are particularly well suited for children who are motivated by the challenge of learning new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies.

The WordMasters Challenge program is administered by a company based in New Jersey which is dedicated to inspiring high achievement in American schools. Further information is available at the company’s website: http://www.wordmasterschallenge.com.

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.

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