Ekron Elementary’s Academic Team, coached by teachers Eileen Shacklett and Julie Watts, is no stranger to success. After claiming their sixth consecutive district championship on Feb. 20, they set their eyes on the regional championship on March 6. Regional Champion is a title they’ve gotten close to before, being runners-up in 2000, third in 2020, and fourth in 2015 and 2017.
The competition consisted of both a written assessment and a quick recall challenge. The written assessment team included Kendall Buchanan, Dannie Caster, Jaxon Childs, Lainie Gerkins, Marie Galloway, Jayden Hulbert, Connor Shacklett, and Jaxon Ziegler. Lainie Gerkins placed first, Kendall Buchanan placed second, and Jayden Hulbert placed fifth on the language arts assessment. Marie Galloway placed second, and Dannie Caster placed third in written composition.
Connor Shacklett worked to defend his 2020 title as the Regional Social Studies Written Assessment Champion this year. Not only is he still the reigning champion, but he placed 4th in the state on the assessment.
The quick recall team, which included Dannie Caster, Marie Galloway, Jayden Hulbert, Connor Shacklett, and Jaxon Childs, would spend seven straight hours on Saturday in matches. They got off to a rough start, losing the first match of the double-elimination event. However, that would be their final loss. They fought their way through the loser’s bracket, defeating Hardinsburg Elementary twice to claim the championship.
Once all the points were totaled, Ekron Elementary earned the title Regional Champions of the Governor’s Cup. This is the first time in school history that the team has won the coveted title.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with this amazing group of students and to witness their sportsmanship and determination firsthand,” said Coach Shacklett. “They have persevered and thrived, even under the most challenging of circumstances. I am so proud of each and every one of them.”
“This is a very special group of kids, and I am so blessed to be able to work with them,” said Coach Watts. “Of course, we cannot take all of the credit. Their parents have prioritized education first to create that foundation of hard work and willingness to grow. Each of these kiddos were stretched beyond what they thought they could accomplish. You will never know your full potential unless you keep challenging yourself.”