At an Oct. 12 mathematics competition, Nicole Lenker (left) and Liam Kirkwood, eighth grade students at St. Charles Borromeo Parish School in Bensalem, each received a $1,000 scholarship to Nazareth Academy and Holy Ghost Preparatory School, respectively. (Photo courtesy of St. Charles Borromeo Parish School / Kathryn McCarty)

Hard work and sharp thinking recently added up to a win for several students at St. Charles Borromeo Parish School in Bensalem.

More than 10 of the school’s honors students placed in an Oct. 12 junior high school mathematics competition sponsored by Holy Ghost Preparatory School and Nazareth Academy High School.


Some 150 participants solved problems in geometry, advanced arithmetic computation and algebra. The event also included a team round, which consisted of four questions that students had to answer within eight minutes, along with a tie-breaker.

For two St. Charles Borromeo students, the whirlwind calculations resulted in a windfall, with eighth graders Liam Kirkwood and Nicole Lenker each receiving a $1,000 scholarship to Holy Ghost and Nazareth respectively.

Seventh grader Amber McCarthy took second place in her grade’s individual girls rankings.

The school’s seventh and eighth grade teams also excelled. The former (Gavin Dwyer, Moira Maw, Amber McCarthy and Grace Leifholtz) secured third place, while the latter (Joseph Bocknak, Jenna Contino, Liam Kirkwood and Nicole Lenker) captured the top spot in their division.