ASHEVILLE, N.C. (April 20, 2012) Two Asheville School students tied for second place in the 23rd Annual Computer Science High School Programming Contest held at Western Carolina University on Tuesday, April 17. Senior Lawrence Waller and junior Jeff Park competed together against several teams of students from AC Reynolds and McDowell High, finishing just behind a first place AC Reynolds team, and tying for second with another team from AC Reynolds.
“I’m pretty excited and glad I was able to take the AP Computer Science exam here with Mr. Long’s help and I feel this has been a continuation of that,” said Waller, who will attend Vanderbilt University on the Cornelius Vanderbilt scholarship next year.
Mark Holliday with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Western Carolina University said each school will receive a plaque in honor of their award. A total of five teams and 12 students participated in Tuesday's competition.
The results were as follows:
First Place A.C. Reynolds, faculty sponsor: Jeff Wilson Team Members: Alyssa Companioni, Zac Agnew, Athene Wright
Second Place (Tie) Asheville School, faculty sponsor: Charles Long Team Members: Jeff Park, Lawrence Waller
Second Place (Tie) A.C. Reynolds, faculty sponsor: Jeff Wilson Team Members: Brian Sullivan
Third Place McDowell High School, faculty sponsor: Rick Lindsey Team Members: Devin Goree, Jonathon O'Keefe, James Bailor
Charles Long, Technology Coordinator at Asheville School, who himself participated in the competition while in high school, was pleased with how well the students solved the problems.
“I remember when I was in high school attending the very same competition. I was too confident of my programming abilities, so I went in head held high, chest poked out, and the mindset that I was going to win. I was quickly humbled as I stared blankly at the 4 questions they were asking me to solve,” Long recalled. “It was a rude awakening, exposing me to what I did not understand about solving logic.
"It's been 14 years since that time and I look back at those questions and how easy they are to solve today," Long said. "I realize how much I've learned since then, thanks to some key teachers from high school and college, plus experience writing lots of software. My desire for the Asheville School students interested in Computer Science is that they will have a solid foundation of programming logic, with the ability to expand upon that foundation as they enter college pursuing a career in this field.”
Park, who says he hopes to broaden his programming skills, looks forward to returning to the competition next year.
“By the time I return next year, I’ll probably be more knowledgeable and more experienced than now,” Park said.
A nationally acclaimed co-ed college preparatory boarding and day school, Asheville School enrolls approximately 275 students from across the country and overseas. Recent graduates are attending Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Caltech, UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, Davidson, NC State, University of Virginia, Emory, Duke, and Wake Forest, among others.