MS Math Team
In early March, just before Pi Day, the GDS Middle School math team won the team event at the DC MathCOUNTS State Competition. Eighth graders Arielle and Joseph teamed up with 7th graders Thalia and Gavin W. to take on topics in geometry, counting, probability, number theory, and algebra. Congratulations!
In the individual competitions, Gavin finished third overall in the individual rounds and qualified for the DC MathCOUNTS Nationals team, too. Ananth finished fifth, missing the National team by one place. Of the seven students in the individual Countdown Finals, four were GDS students! Congratulations to Ananth, Joseph, Thalia, and Gavin. Appreciation also goes to Rasul ’27 and William ’27, who rounded out GDS’s representatives at this state-level competition.
As coach of the winning team, GDS math teacher Angie Errett will coach the DC National MathCOUNTS team in Orlando on May 14 and 15.
Pi Day Challenge
On Pi Day, students faced off to recite as many digits of Pi as they could in the annual 5th grade Pi Day Challenge. The finalists enjoyed huge support from their classmates as, one by one, they rattled off dozens of digits in the Middle School Commons. Congratulations to this year's winner, Spencer, on her outstanding delivery of more than six minutes' worth of digits of pi.
Just before Spring Break, GDS’s first Grand Integrator was crowned during the newly created Integration Bee, a tournament originated by student leaders, who brought the High School community together over their love of hard calculus problems. Like basketball’s March Madness, the Integration Bee featured passionate fans, bracket-busting upsets, and live interviews with the mathletes.
Congratulations to Zach Kovner ’24, the No. 8 seed who rose from the preliminary round to become GDS’s first-ever Grand Integrator!
Inaugural Integration Bee organizers Ollie Alfonso-Frank ’24 and Ethan Wolin ’23 signed off by thanking their big team of organizers as well as the community members who came out to support the event: “We hope you had as fun a time cheering as we did organizing it. If you weren’t there, we’re sincerely sorry that you missed out. . .All nine integrators who were present showed remarkable resilience and panache in the face of rule changes, boisterous spectators, and the slip-ups that came with a first-time event.”
View an event gallery from Kaiden Yu ’23 and meet the Integration Bee team members:
Producer Jaia Wilensky, official Sadie Foer, commentator Cole Huh, interviewer Asha Adiga-Biro, video producer Max Kaminski, band manager Deepa Bhargava, band members Cam and Nick Salehizadeh, Paul Smith, and Alec Donath, potter Daria Kabiri, trophy-maker Jake Jameson (with help from Polly Martin), photographer Kaiden J. Yu, and faculty advisor Lee Goldman.
Fourth-grade twins Ali and Zayd are now ranked number one and two, respectively, in the National Capital Region in the boys under 11 (BU11) division. Ali is ranked 16th for his division nationally and Zayd is in the top 30. Ali recently won the 2023 U.S. Squash Silver National Championship for boys under 11. Ali is also nationally ranked in the top 80 of the division higher than his age group. Not bad for kids who started just a year and a half ago.
Their parents, Maryland-native Sonia and Sattar, who grew up in Kuwait, wanted the twins to find a lifelong sport they could play together that could help maintain a healthy lifestyle. After five years of dabbling in various sports, the twins found they loved racquet sports and began playing squash at age nine. The boys have felt at home in the diverse squash community just as they have in the GDS community. Sonia, said “I love how the twins have Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian squash buddies. I have never seen a more diverse sport and it is an incredible community. I am so grateful that we are a part of it.”
More recently, they have been taking lessons with former World No. 41 Nouran El Torky, who has also worked with…
Fifth grader Eric ’30 has made remarkable progress in his squash career. He attained a United States No. 2 ranking in the BU11 division before aging up to BU13, where he currently holds the 17th position.
Eric has also achieved outstanding results in major junior squash tournaments. In the U.S. Junior Open in December 2022, the largest junior squash tournament in the world, he finished second overall. Similarly, in the British Junior Open—considered by many to be the most prestigious junior squash tournament globally—Eric achieved an impressive sixth position in January 2023. Only the top five players from each country have the opportunity to represent their national team. (Pictured with his sister, Isabella, who attended GDS Lower School and has also achieved outstanding results).
Juju Jinich ’24 finished in second place in the Boys’ U19 (BU19) division of the Baltimore Junior Gold and fifth place in BU17 in the Westchester Junior Gold. He is currently preparing for the DC Gold Squash
on Fire Tournament at George Washington University at the end of May. He is also maintaining his skills and fitness as he decides whether he wants to play in college. Juju has a rating of 5.53 (a top-level pro
would have a 7.0 rating). He’s ranked sixth in the National Capital District BU17 (20th among all men in the District). Nationally, he is ranked 62nd among all BU17 Juniors.
Third Grade Pianist
Brian ’32, who has only been studying the piano for a year and a half, is one of the winners of the IAMGC International Piano Contest and will be going to Dubai this June to perform at the Dubai Opera! You won’t be disappointed by his performance of Frédéric Chopin’s Etude Op 25 No 2 in F minor. Watch now >>
In early spring each year, GDS Jazz and Creative Music travels to North Carolina for jazz festivals at UNC and Elon. The value of their “Playing Outside”—meant both in terms of departing the tonal center of a song and physically departing the comfort of School—was captured in a recent Georgetown Days magazine article. This spring, nearly 50 student musicians attended the 2023 Carolina Jazz Festival, where four GDS bands performed for the judges: The Real Minor 7, The Fort Reno Fighters, Lukie and the Poodles, and the Milky Nomads. Congratulations to the 14 students who were recognized with Outstanding Performer Awards!
Mila Noshirvani ’23 — flute, vocals
Olivia Brown ’24 — vocals
Thomas Ogada ’24 — trombone
Matthew Jones ’24 — trumpet
Paul Smith ’26 — upright bass
Sabrina Sandhu ’26 — piano
Aydin Smolover-Bord ’23 — saxophone
Ben Stern ’23 — trombone
Kaiden Yu ’23 — piano
Jamie Zimmermann ’23 — electric guitar
Zachary Henderson ’25 — upright bass
William Liu ’24 — violin
Alexandra Caskin ’23 — electric bass
Mad Lee ’26 — viola
National Scholastic Art Medalists
Elodie Fleurence ’25 won a Scholastic National Gold Medal for her ceramic piece Tea-ntacles, which had won a regional gold key in the qualifying competition. Carter Kunz ’26 won two Scholastic National Silver Medals for his photography. In the qualifying competition, Carter won three regional gold keys. As the teachers of national medalists, Nick Ryan (ceramics with Elodie) and Tuan Nguyen (photography with Carter) were honored with Scholastic Educator Awards.
As was previously reported, GDS student artists won an astounding 81 scholastic art awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition.
Thanks to Head Coach Gabe Koo for sending this update:
GDS debate just wrapped up two end-of-the-season tournaments, the Tournament of Champions (TOC) and the 1st- and 2nd-Year National Championships. The TOC is the national championship for all debaters while the latter is the national championship for younger debaters in their first and second years of debate. Think of it as Varsity vs. JV titles.
At the 1st- and 2nd-Year Nationals, we had two teams make a splash. Ninth graders Emma Renigar and Sam Wood made it to the quarterfinals of the first-year division. Sophomores Dhilan Desai and Kevin Xia made it to the octofinals of the second-year division.
At the TOC, our juniors Mark Orr and Isaac Song ended with a 3-4 record. Not too shabby considering that every team at the TOC had to have great regular season performances to qualify and that a vast majority of teams at the TOC are seniors. While those competitors graduate, Mark and Ike have the luxury to run it back next year! As you may remember, our seniors Sophie Bronner and Izzy Evers also qualified for the TOC. They ultimately decided not to attend, so the world shall remain in suspense about what could have been.
Thank you all for your support this year. The students (and I) will be taking a breather from debate before they prepare for next year's topic, “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase fiscal redistribution in the United States by adopting a federal jobs guarantee, expanding Social Security, and/or providing a basic income.”