Four Students Qualify for MathCON Finals

March 23, 2021

Four math students from St. Johnsbury Academy have been invited to attend the virtual MathCON 2021 Finals on May 1, 2021. Finalists are students who have scored in the top 10 percent of their respective grades. The students are sophomore Ben Carpenter of Weston, Massachusetts, and seniors Emma Keenan (left) of Peacham, Vermont, Yicheng (Nathan) Shen (middle) of China, and Luke Young-Xu (right) of North Haverhill, NH. Ben Carpenter scored in the top 1% of all sophomores, and Luke Young-Xu scored in the top 5% of all seniors. Across the country, over 50,000 students and nearly 800 schools take part in the competition.


According to the MathCON website, “MathCON is an innovative mathematics platform, including a competition series and educational resources and opportunities for students and educators, developed to enhance mathematics education. Our vision is to build a collaborative mathematics community for students and educators in order to support, advocate and influence STEM education in the U.S. to pave the way for the 21st century generation of problem-solvers.”


Patrick Kinsella, math department chair, said, “We are very proud of our MathCON finalists this year. MathCON is one of our hallmark competitions for the math team annually. Hanzhan “Carlos” Yu ’19 was the 12th grade National Champion in 2019. In a normal year, students would have the opportunity to visit the Chicago area for the competition, but with the pandemic shutting the Finals down last year and this year being virtual, it certainly has a bit of a different vibe to it. The students have shown consistency and dedication despite this reality. Emma was a finalist two years ago, and Luke was an alternate last year.


 Additionally, Yicheng scored well enough on the national American Mathematics Contest (AMC 12) exam and has been invited to take the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination), which is a highly prestigious and selective examination.”


Headmaster Sharon Howell said, “These students are the best of the best in math—it’s a huge accomplishment to achieve at this level of competition, and we wish them best of luck in the national finals in May.”


Additional information about the MathCON competition can be found at


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