Math clicks for some students, and for others, it just doesn’t add up.
For Logan Fladeland, an eighth-grader at C.R. Anderson Middle School, though, math simply comes natural.
Fladeland recently took first place in the American Mathematics Contest 8 for the state of Montana. It’s a nationwide contest for eighth-graders sponsored by a number of professional and academic math organizations.
But that’s not all.
Fladeland, 13, recently also took the top score in honors math II at Capital High School on a test at the sophomore level. Kira Parker, a sixth-grader at C.R.A., took second on that test.
Logan’s parents, Murray and Tracie Fladeland, don’t take credit for his exceptional math abilities.
“From an early age, he seemed to really be able to crunch numbers and enjoyed it more than anything,” Murray said.
Tracie said his three older brothers played number games with him.
“They would quiz him before he was even in school,” she said.
Tracie said that from an early age, Logan noticed patterns. The numbers describing the time of day, for example, were the same as radio station call numbers.
“I don’t feel like we can be attributed to his success,” Tracie said. “Honestly, I’d say he’s had good teachers, and the programs they have in place at the school have a lot to do with it.”
As a fifth-grader, Logan was bused to C.R. Anderson to take higher-level math classes. Today, he rides the bus to Capital for sophomore-level honors math.
Logan says he didn’t grow up thinking he was a math whiz, but in elementary school he did notice that he was usually the first one to finish taking math tests. And many times, his classmates would ask for his help.
As he got older he took harder classes, but that only made him work harder, Logan said.
The high school students in his math class seem OK with Logan being the young kid in the class.
“They joke around and threaten to make me do their homework,” he said with a laugh.
Sandy Jomini was Logan’s seventh-grade math teacher and says that when she asked him a question, she could see the connections being made in his brain.
C.R. Anderson Principal Bruce Campbell said Logan is one of those students who administrators and teachers want to have in school.
“He’s a positive role model for my building,” Campbell said, admitting that Logan is a lot better at math than he is.
Next year, Logan will take pre-calculus as a freshman, but math
doesn’t define the polite, cheerful and funny teen. He gets superb grades in other subjects and plays many sports — soccer, basketball and sometimes football.
Logan says that although he gets good grades — 4.0 GPA — of all the subjects he takes in school, math just makes the most sense.
“English has all these exceptions or in history you have to memorize dates,” he said. “You can always solve the problem with math.”
Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or firstname.lastname@example.org