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Pinkerton math team excels at numbers game

DERRY — Members of Pinkerton Academy's math team are finding the right formula for success this year as the squad is undefeated and on track to win the league championship.

After winning the championship last year, the team is in first place with three straight victories in the Tri-State Math League, math teacher Ellen Berchtold said Tuesday.

The team competes regularly against the seven teams in its division and has a good chance to advance to the league championship later this year, said Berchtold.

"If we stay ahead, which I'm pretty sure we will, we'll win the league championship," Berchtold said.

The math team is made up of A-level Geometry, Honors Algebra 2, Honors Precalculus and Honors Calculus students. There are about 20 members on the team.

Each competition is referred to as a meet, and the students travel to the high school that is hosting the event. There are five different categories of math problems, ranging from Algebra to Calculus, which the team members must try to solve. Berchtold is responsible for helping the team prepare for a meet.

"It's my job to come up with enough practice problems and as many things I can think of for them to work on so they aren't totally surprised by the meet," she said.If the team wins the league competition, it can advance to the state championship in the spring, she said. Pinkerton has won the state championship before. The team also has a chance to compete in the New England math championship, which is scheduled for later this year in Massachusetts.

Berchtold said she attributes the students' success to hard work and a few other factors.

"Primarily, they are very bright kids. They are hardworking, they take it seriously and they like to win," she said.

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