Excellence in Youth

Westside Community Schools

January 2023 Recap


The Excellence in Youth (EY) Program at Westside Community Schools provides expanded learning opportunities for students with high ability, in addition to fostering and encouraging talent development in all students.
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What would your students’ perfect peculiar pet be? Several students from WCS took this prompt and created fabulous poems and entered them in the Young Writers poetry contest Peculiar Pets. There were thousands of entries. The poems were selected based on imagination, creativity, and use of language. The favorites have been named. Congratulations to Sunset 6th grader Aya, Swanson 6th Grader Isabella, and Swanson 5th grader Kendall who had poems chosen to be published in the 2022 Peculiar Pets-Around the USA.
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The EY team hosted an IAC Geography Contests last week at all of our elementary buildings. The competition aims to reward students who have devoted themselves to studying their world, and its countries and peoples, as a thorough knowledge of geography is essential to being an educated citizen today. Congratulations to our contestants!

1st highest elementary score overall

Wyatt H. - Hillside

Tied for 2nd highest elementary score overall

Thomas F. - Westgate & Maxfield V. - Rockbrook

3rd highest elementary elementary score overall

Luke B. & Norah S. - Hillside, Maximillian H. - Loveland, Elia S. - Swanson

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SIGMA Math Contest

SIGMA is a mathematics league that promotes problem solving through competition. SIGMA provides opportunities for students to apply their mathematical knowledge in new and different ways by solving non-routine problems. During the month of January, Sixth grade EY students participated in this contest. Congratulations!


1st - Libby

2nd - Katie, Mackenzie, Cyrus


1st - Kocis & Luke

2nd - Sonali & Ada


1st - Jasper & Emily

2nd - Samuel, Dom, Graham

Paddock Road

1st - Jaxson S.

2nd - Brooklynn O., Gracelynn N., Cooper M., Conrad C., Lucas U.

Prairie Lane

1st - Michael & Joseph

2nd - Grace & Sawyer


1st - Lucy & Whitney

2nd - Eloise & Maxfield

Sunset Hills

1st - Toby, Max, Colin


1st - Alexander

2nd - Beck & Isabella


Remi - 1st

Kanna, Nathaniel, Landon - 2nd


1st - Brock L.

2nd - Emmaline J.

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Friends of OPL Writing Contest

The Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest is held each year in the spring to recognize the creative writing talent of area students in grades 5-8. Students must submit an original work of fiction under 750 words that features a character from a book they have read on their own and enjoyed. Stories can expand on the original story's plot or take the characters on a new adventure, there are no limitations!

Each winner receives a cash prize and certificate, is recognized in a ceremony at the library, and has their story published on the library website. The school libraries of each winning student are also recognized with a matching cash prize.

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22-23 Digital Dozen Winners!

Most Recent Digital Dozen - Congratulations!

The Excellence In Youth Team is proud to announce Cooper F. and Isabella R., and Maddox S from Swanson, Lewis K. from Sunset, and Joslyn O. and Emma D. from Oakdale as the most recent recipients of the Digital Dozen Award for the 2022-2023 school year & the first recipient at Rockbrook! This award is presented to students who have earned 12 of the digital badges on the EY Website (ey.westside66.org), which is available to students district-wide. It takes self-motivation, grit, and determination to earn these badges and Hudson should be proud of this accomplishment!

2nd Digital Dozen!

The Excellence In Youth Team congratulates Sammie M. from Hillside on her 2nd Digital Dozen award for this school year!

She turned in her 26th badge and is already working on badge #27! Any guesses as to how long it will be before she gets her 3rd Digital Dozen??? Congratulations, Sammie!

Shout Out - Half Way There!

The EY Team would like to give a shout out to the following students who have earned 6 or more badges. These students are well on their way to earning the Digital Dozen. Keep it up!

Peter B. - Swanson

Sienna G. - Hillside

Abram B. - Sunset

Ben W. - Sunset

Luka Z. - Sunset

Johnny D. - Loveland

Stella D. - Prairie Lane

Mallorie B. - Sunset

Brion C. - Sunset

Thea F. - Sunset

Anais K. - Sunset

Olive K. - Sunset

Blake S. - Sunset

Cooper R. - Swanson

Parrish J. - Westgate

Claire M. - Hillside

Erin W. - Hillside

Colt M. - Sunset

Beckett S. - Sunset

Aya Z. - Sunset

Marley A. - Swanson

Finn D. - Swanson

Drew K. - Swanson

Annil M. - Swanson

Brock L. - Westgate

Isabel V. - Swanson

Addison W. - Sunset

Nori F. - Sunset

Avery F. - Rockbrook

Blythe L. - Loveland

Hunter H. - Loveland

Ellie W. - Rockbrook

Josie M. - Sunset

Michael L. - Swanson

Bianca S. - Hillside

Kelli P. - Prairie Lane

EARN A BADGE . . . or 12!

Every student in Westside has the opportunity to begin earning badges. Working towards earning a badge allows students to dig deep into topics and explore individual interest areas. Badges can be found in various subject and interest areas.

Earn 12 badges to achieve the acclaimed "Digital Dozen" and earn a prize and recognition! Choose from hundreds of badge options on the EY Website or choose one below to get kick started!

Featured Badge

"Kindness is doing what you can, where you are, with what you have." - Raktivist

This new badge is a bullying prevention project. To earn this badge complete tasks 1-5 and make a plan for an anti-bullying event. Holding the event is optional.

New Badges

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Mini Sparks are quick lessons that introduce learners to various topics. Sparks can be found under every subject area on the EY website. These activities require minimal supplies and make for a great family activity!


Complete the newest Science mini spark to discover some of the flowers, fish, and scorpions that scientist have found on our earth during the year 2022

Meet a rainbow fish and other new species discovered!

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EY in Action!

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History, Science, and Geography Bee!

WMS students took the qualifying test for the History, Science, and Geography Bees this month and several students will move on to the WMS School-Level Bee at the end of February.

42 students qualified for the Science Bee and these students were the top scorers.

Cooper K.

Elaina G.

Max R.

Elliott G.

Morgan D.

Sanjay O.

Henry H.

33 students qualified for the Geography Bee and these students were the top scorers.

Dylan G.

Max R.

Cooper K.

Khant L.

Alexander C.

Jasper W.

Berkley G.

13 students qualified for the History Bee and these students were top scorers.

Thom S.

Hill H.

Atwater C.

Wetzel D.

Larsen J.

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Honors Algebra Fun!

WMS Honors Algebra students practice the skills of collecting and analyzing data to find the perfect bungee cord length for their Barbie.

Winning Team!

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The EY program website is the hub of communication for the EY Team. For our K-8 students, monthly challenges, seminars and events, as well as other learning opportunities are posted to the site on a regular basis.

All students are encouraged to participate in the opportunities posted, regardless of whether they have been identified for the EY Program. Students can participate independently by accessing the opportunities at home or during tech time at school. Teachers may also facilitate these whole and small-group enrichment opportunities for students in the classroom.

Click below to check out all our website has to offer!

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EY Team

Dr. Spady

  • Paddock Road
  • Westgate
  • Westside Middle School
  • Math 7 Honors Coordinator