Six Sarasota County students solved many challenges Saturday, April 20, fighting their way through two rounds of competition and making it to the Division 1 semi-finals at the Florida Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando.
The 2013 Sarasota County Academic Olympic All Stars Veronica Hernandez, Robert Bedell, Thad Potter, Justin Oettinger, Jaclyn Wiley and Thomas Junker had to clear a number of hurdles to reach the three-day tournament. Other team members dropped out due to other commitments and substitute coach David Nezelek had to step in for long time coach Blake Wiley after a death in Wiley’s family. Private contributors from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County paid for all the expenses of the competition.
“They competed with such enthusiasm, even though they were playing against more experienced teams,” according to Eve Johnston, Education Foundation Academic Olympics coordinator