M.L. Wisdom HS; Houston TX – The Wisdom Generals captured the 2021 District 23-5A UIL Academic Championship by earning the highest overall point total among the 5A high schools, in the Virtual Meet held on Saturday, March 27. It was the fourth consecutive (2017, 2018, 2019 – No competition held in 2020) overall 5A Sweepstakes title for Wisdom (377 pts), as they outscored Energy Institute (202), Northside (180), Sharpstown (117), Sterling (61), Milby (58), Madison (48) & Waltrip (5).
The Generals won outright district team championships in five of the 16 competitions: Calculator Applications, Mathematics, Number Sense, Science & Journalism. “It was tough to keep it together during this last year, and having the pandemic cancel UIL districts in 2020,” Wisdom UIL Director Saul Cantu said. “But we managed to keep our students involved and we persevered through it. Math and Journalism have always been our strongest areas, and we were able to win eight of those contests with individual champs. I’m proud of this team.”
After Wisdom’s incredible three-year run by the “Mathletes” from 2017-19 that ended with a State Championship in Calculator Applications, Cantu and Head Coach Eridani Alcantar have had to completely rebuild their Math team. Sophomore Paul Oh emerged as a leader by winning the district individual title in both Calculator Apps and Math, while finishing 2nd in Number Sense. Oh also won the individual gold medal in Science.
Sophomore Bruno Santana was 2nd in Calculator Apps and Science, 4th in Math, and 5th in Number Sense. Senior Wilmer Salgado earned a 3rd place finish in Math, was 4th in Calculator Apps, and 5th in Science.
The Wisdom Chronicle (www.wisdomshsnews.com) Journalism Team won their fourth consecutive (2017, 18, 19) 23-5A Journalism team title. They were led by Sophomore Marisol Hernandez who took home two gold medals by winning both the News Writing and Feature Writing contests. Wisdom Chronicle News Editor and Senior Mara Nezami won the Editorial Writing contest and placed 3rd in both Feature and News Writing. Junior Julian Cabrera took the gold medal in Headline Writing, while finishing 3rd in Editorial, and Mara’s sister Junior Hoba Nezami was second in both Editorial and Feature Writing, and was 3rd in Headline.
“The Nezami sisters have done an exceptional job staying sharp in their writing skills, even as they continue with remote learning,” Wisdom Journalism Coach David Fanucchi said. “Marisol is a naturally gifted writer and has been such a pleasure to have on our team, and Julian really stepped up when we needed him to compete. I’m excited that we were able to contribute so much to our overall district title again.”
Here is the list of Wisdom’s Individual District 23-5A Champions for 2021:
Paul Oh – Computer Applications, Math, & Science
Marisol Hernandez – News Writing & Feature Writing
Mara Nezami – Editorial Writing
Julian Cabrera – Headline Writing
Nayelis Pedroso-Estrada – Ready Writing
The top three individual finishers in all competitions advanced to the Region 3-5A Finals, to be held Saturday, April 17 at Willowridge High School. The list of Wisdom’s second and third place finishers who also advanced to Regionals:
Mara Nezami – News (3rd), Feature (3rd)
Hoba Nezami – Editorial (2nd), Feature (2nd), Headline (3rd)
Julian Cabrera – Editorial (3rd)
Leslee Cruz – Ready Writing (2nd), Literary Criticism (2nd)
Nayelis Pedroso-Estrada – Literary Criticism (3rd)
Bruno Santana – Calculator Apps (2nd), Science (2nd)
Wilmer Salgado – Math (3rd)
Paul Oh – Number Sense (2nd)