Wildcat Challenge moves to one-day format

Grace Beck

In perhaps the only challenge the West Shore faculty ever has refused to overcome, members of a committee headed by science teacher Sherie Jenkins have devised a plan to keep a long-standing tradition from falling prey to a new statewide testing schedule.

A change in this spring’s FCAT schedule triggered an adaptation in the Wildcat Challenge field day which this year will be held on one full day as opposed to a two-day format.  In the past, juniors and seniors competed in the Challenge while students in grades seven through 10 took the state-mandated test over two days. But with FCAT reduced to a single 70-minute session, the Challenge schedule had to be reworked.

“The Wildcat Challenge has become part of the tradition and culture of West Shore,” Jenkins said. “It’s a time when students play and compete together, building positive relationships and lasting memories with their class members and homeroom teachers.”

Instead of shortening the Challenge, Jenkins and other faculty agreed to lengthen the games by setting aside an entire school day.

“The administration understands the importance of our tradition and didn’t want to eliminate any part of the Wildcat Challenge,” Jenkins explained. “March 23 … will be a regular school day for grades 7 – 10, but juniors and seniors will compete in the gym and the field for the coveted Wildcat Challenge trophy. In addition, for the first time, the games will be held on a Friday and all the dual-enrolled and early admission students at BCC will be able to come. For teachers, juniors and seniors, this change is all good,” she said.

“I’m indifferent towards that subject but I’m glad administration is helping us out because, obviously, they had no control over the FCAT schedule,” Mike Senft-Greenberg.

By Meaghan Pickles