St. Andrews Middle students excel through Odyssey of the Mind

St. Andrews Middle students excel through Odyssey of the Mind (Image 1)

St. Andrews Middle School students are top notch when it comes to academic competitions. The school has stellar participation in a world creative problem solving competition, called the Odyssey of the Mind. We’re in West Ashley for our Cool School of the week.

Students are hard at work making props and finalizing details for their upcoming state Odyssey of the Mind competition. Guidance counselor Georgetta Simmons says, “It’s a program that gives students an opportunity to compete in a competition where the program itself gives them five problems and they have to come up with solutions to the problems.” The program is sponsored by SAILS teachers, through the gifted and talented program. Eighth-grade-student Courtney Deweese says, “Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving competition where we have to give creative answers to the problems that the judges give us. It helps me show my creative side, and how much I’ve grown throughout the years.”

St. Andrews Middle has competed since 2007, and since then, they’ve had at least one first place team every year. They compete on the state, national,and world level. Interim principal Lawanda Glears says, “I am very proud of all the accomplishments of St. Andrews Middle School especially the Odyssey of the mind. The students work very hard to receive that recognition, not only at the state level, but also at the national level, and that makes us proud as a school.”

St. Andrews has three teams, composed of twenty-five students. The teams won state competitions two years in a row, and now they’re preparing for another round, state competition on March 15th, then they hope to move on to nationals in Iowa the last week of May. Eighth-grade-student William Jay Smith says, “I get to do after school activities, and it allows me to be myself, and be spontaneous.” Eighth-grade-student Artasia Simmons says, “It lets me interact with new people and figure out new problems.” Parent Carolyn Deweese says, “To me as a parent, Odyssey is a way of getting my semi shy child out and interacting with other students. She gets to meet students from other schools, other countries, other states, and it helps her think outside the box.”

Students who compete can apply for scholarships.

Three students were also identified by Duke University Talent Identification program as Duke Tip Scholars. They scored in the 9th percentile or higher on a standardized test.

St. Andrews offers more than twenty clubs twice a month during school hours, including cooking, recycling, unity, and crochet.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we will present the St. Andrews Wildcats with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. send an email to Octavia at, maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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