Kirby Hall ninth grader Vaughan McInerney was invited to flex his mathematical strength after having scored in the top 2.5% on an international math test. This earned him the privilege of taking a three-hour, 15-problem exam on a Saturday – not your ordinary weekend fun.
Students who score in the top 2.5% of the AMC 10 competition as part of the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) are invited to take the three hour AIME, American Invitational Mathematics Examination, the second step of a four-part process to select six students for the International Mathematical Olympiad team.
The International Math Olympiad is an annual competition that allows the best and brightest math students from 100 countries all over the world to participate in a grueling two-day competition consisting of six problems that would make most of our heads spin. “These are the people who go on to become mathematicians and do things like win Fields Medals,” said Summer McInerney, Vaughan’s mother. “It is literally the Olympics of the Math world.”
To make it to the second stage is a huge honor and speaks to Vaughan’s outstanding mathematical skills. Both he and his parents feel Kirby Hall’s math department and parent volunteer Ken Burton, who runs our Math Counts and Math Olympiad clubs, contributed to Vaughan’s success.
“A big thank you to Kirby Hall’s awesome math teachers and math club sponsor,” said Mrs. McInerney.
This is not the first time Vaughan has been recognized for his academic prowess. He received the Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) Honorarium Scholarship. Only awarded to eight eighth grade students statewide, Vaughan received the Top Scholar award, ranking as PSIA’s number one scholar. This award recognized his outstanding achievements in his seven years of participating in PSIA competitions, including seven gold medals and one silver medal in Number Sense and Mathematics at the state level and over 30 other awards at both district and state PSIA competitions.
This award also recognized Vaughan’s commitment to the Kirby Hall community. “He is an exceptional math student, who is always looking for ways to help his teachers and others.” says Barbara Horan, who taught Vaughan math from 4th to 8th grade. He made valuable student study materials, such as 17 different polyhedra models. “When a student asks me what is an icosahedron, I can show them one of Vaughan’s models,” said Ms. Horan. “He has made a difference in my life and my school.”
“Vaughan never ceases to amaze us with his continued willingness to help wherever needed,” said Kirby Hall Director Helen Roberts. “I polled our faculty and was told that there are so many occasions where Vaughan offered and gave his assistance over the years, that it was hard to state them all.”