Great minds led great seasons as both the Thompson Intermediate and Bondy Intermediate National Academic League teams advanced to national competition.
Although both teams' successful campaigns ended in the semifinal round, the coaches from both schools were pleased with their students' efforts.
Thompson Intermediate won the district title and had their sights set on making school history once again - as the school has captured three national titles. The last group of Thompson NAL students that won the national crown was in 2001.
"I was extremely proud of our team this year. They were very self motivated and willing to put in countless hours of studying not only during our practices, but on their own beginning last summer and throughout the season," Thompson NAL coach Stephanie Albert said. "They worked together like a true team. They had a tremendous amount of chemistry and were constantly pushing each other to the next level."
Members of Thompson's team include Maha Ali, Angie Arteaga, Evan Blalock, Jason Edokpa, Joshua Garcia, Hector Ibarra, Madeline Lacamu, Amari Lavergne, Tony Ly, Alexia Perez, Jenna Perez, Caxton Petri, Angelica Phillips, Lester Rodriguez, Fernando Rojas, Taylor Surratt, Nicholas Taylor, Brian Tran, Khoa Truong, Savana Velasquez and Alyssa Williams. The team was coached by Albert and teacher Stephanie McGough-Hudson
Bondy Intermediate, who was last year's district champ, advanced to nationals after finishing as district runner-up. Bondy has advanced to the national tournament for the past three years.
"NAL brings together some of the brightest, most creative students on our campus," Bondy coach Lisa Wilhelm said. "Because most of these students are involved in extracurricular activities, such as athletics or fine arts, we have to get creative to find time to practice as a team. Usually that means working on weekends. Our team could often be found at Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon, laptops and I-phones in hand, researching our topic for the week. It is a huge blessing to get to work with such talented and dedicated students, and I believe NAL gives them an experience with a lasting, positive impact."