Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) sent more than 10 students to the Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) Conference at Massachusetts Amherst from June 6-9, 2019, where the school took top honors.
At the International competition, PCA students had the strongest showing across all the competitions that Texas has ever had in its nearly 40-year history with the program. More than 23,000 students from 13 different countries (such as Turkey, New Zealand, China, Korea, Israel, Norway) compete at state or regional levels throughout the school year. More than 2,500 problem solving champions from the most successful teams and individuals convened at the International Conference to recognize their accomplishments and compete at the highest level.
In the Global Issues competition, Prestonwood Christian Academy teams made Texas history by having two teams place in the top five of the Senior team Global Issues competition. PCA teams placed second (Courtney Brooks, Ishwania Christopher, Bryson Franks, Sean Lee) and fifth (Katy Jacobs, Hunter McCall, Anna Murray, Davis Works) only placing behind the first-place team from Singapore. That team also placed fourth in the Presentation of Action Plan competition. Senior Davis Works placed first in the Scenario Performance competition. And, in the Community Problem Solvers competition, eighth grader Jade Hernandez (PCA-Middle Division) placed second.
PCA also competed in the MAGIC competition, in which students are placed on a team of four with students from other states or countries to complete the problem-solving process as well. Senior Paloma Diaz-Minshew placed first in this competition with her teammates. Gaby Goonetilleke, also a Senior, placed second with her team members.
"I am incredibly proud of this talented group of students. Unlike the team qualifiers, each of these winners was given the task to compete on a team comprised of students they did not know—adding to the challenge," said Shannon Lichty, PCA's Upper School FPS coach and Pre-AP English I teacher. "The Creative Problem Solving Process taught by FPSPI is invaluable in that it teaches critical thinking and writing skills in a timed setting which helps students excel in high school and college classes and the professional world."
The Future Problem Solving Program was founded in 1974 by Dr. E. Paul Torrance to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills, encourage students to develop a vision for the future and prepare students for leadership roles. FPSPI involves thousands of students annually from all over the world.
Each year, PCA continues to excel in this higher-level education program by competing against gifted and talented students from across the state for a chance to compete at the International level.
Prestonwood Christian Academy serves more than 1,600 students enrolled at five campuses as part of its school system. PCA Planoserves Pre-K3 through 12th grade. PCA North in Prosper (Pre-K3 through 9th grade) is celebrating its sixth school year with more than 220 students and is now enrolling through 10th grade as it grows to the first graduating class of 2023. PCAplus is celebrating record-breaking enrollment in its virtual academy, and part-time students, and has been serving students for more than 10 years. St. Timothy Christian Academyis a K through 12th grade school for students with learning differences which joined PCA's School System in 2017. The King's Academyin South Dallas opened its doors to PreK-4 through 1st Grade students on Aug. 19, 2019. Prestonwood Christian Academy School System has been recognized as having one of the strongest Christian education programs in the country. Each school places great value on the growth of students' spiritual health, scholastic endeavors, and co-curricular activities. Tantamount to its spiritual development plan, and intentional biblical worldview training, is PCA's rigorous Liberal Arts academic program.