Rotary sponsorship helped team succeed at the National Tournament.
Letter from Don Scheick, Centerville Science Olympiad coordinator:

Dear Centerville Science Olympiad Partners:

I promised in my May 6th note that I would update you on the National Tournament results upon my return from Augusta, GA.  To be honest, I'm still coming down from the excitement because this past Saturday, May 16th the Centerville High School Science Olympiad Team won, becoming the 2009 Grand National Champions - for the first time in Centerville's 24 years of participation - at the Science Olympiad National Tournament.  It was my personal privilege to have been part of the official team entourage and share in their "moment".
This was also the 25th Silver Anniversary tournament for National Science Olympiad.

To give you some context, the National Tournament at the high school level is comprised of the 60 state champions (and 2nd place teams from states with large numbers of teams) representing 49 states.  There are 15 students on the varsity team, competing in 23 events in pairs and trios that encompass virtually all of the major scientific and engineering disciplines.  Individual medals are awarded to the top six places in each event and the top ten teams are recognized at the National Awards Ceremony.  To medal is obviously a high honor and extremely difficult to do.  Centerville, however, was hitting on all eight cylinders during the competition on Saturday because they earned medals in 15 of the 23 events and finished the night with only 170 points (There were no "crash and burn" events, as head coach Penny Valentini refers to an event that goes badly).  Both are records for the National Tournament and only the second time that the national champion has had less than 200 points (the average winning team score has been 255 points), beating the old record of 172 points held by Troy High School from Los Angeles (Speaking of which, Troy High School was the three time defending national champion heading into this tournament.
Troy is a 2800 science and math magnet school in which the students are all hand selected.
Needless to say, it was beating Troy and breaking their point record from five years ago made it even sweeter for Centerville).

There will be a major welcome awaiting the team when they arrive back at the high school between 4 and 4:30 PM.  One of the local network TV stations and the Dayton Daily News will be there as well, along with the school's band, the district Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, the team member parents and students from the school.

Below I have provided a link to a brief article appearing in today's Dayton Daily News, but I understand a more extensive article with pictures is planned that will be in the newspaper in a couple more days.

I have thanked each and everyone of you previously - by mail and either in person or by phone for your support.  But I have to thank you again for helping to make this all
possible.   Penny Valentini, who is the team's head coach, treats the entire 31 member
team as "one team".  Her point being that, to an extent, the competition schedule determines what is the best 15 person combination to assemble, but all 31 members made the trip together, did their part to help ensure that the competing team was prepared to the best of its ability and all 31 shared center stage in this national championship on Saturday night.

I would be happy to share pictures with anyone who is interested.


Don Scheick