Student Standouts and Staff Spotlight for February 10, 2023

Student Standouts: Kamat ’24, Kamat ’25, Boys Basketball, Ice Hockey, Best Buddies, HOSA/Future Health Professionals, and Middle School Math Team; Staff Spotlight: Kate Haffenreffer

Congratulations to this week’s standouts below. Way to go #RamNation! And as always, if you have a story to share, please email


Two Upper Schoolers Advance in Youth Entrepreneurship Contest

From hundreds of international applicants, Hans Kamat ’24 and Evan Kamat ’25 have been selected to move on to the top 20 applicants for an international youth entrepreneurship contest called the Diamond Challenge, run out of the University of Delaware.

Hans and Evan entered the contest on the Business Innovation track. They have played sports their whole lives and developed a team bench heating pad called “The Bench Warmer.” They submitted a proposal both in written and video format, and the next step is a live pitch event in Delaware on Sunday, March 5, 2023. There, they will pitch their business concept in front of judges and will then answer questions.

An Overtime Victory for Boys Basketball

In overtime on Tuesday night, the MICDS Boys Basketball team defeated Mater Dei, 65-62. Top scorers were Marcus Coleman ’23 (18 points), Jayden Banks ’24 (12 points), Brandon Clemens ’26 (11 points), and Brin Lewis ’23 (10 points) with Coleman leading in rebounds (9). Next up, the team plays Lutheran South today. Go Rams!

Deren Pellegrini saves ice hockey goal

Ice Hockey Team Advances to Quarterfinals

MICDS Varsity Ice Hockey had a furious 3rd-period rally on Friday, February 3! Ice Hockey Head Coach John Mattingly shared, “In one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever witnessed, the MICDS Rams battled with indescribable resiliency.” The Rams came back with three goals in the 3rd to force a 5-5 tie. The final game of pool play was the following Monday night against Holt, where the Rams advanced to the quarterfinals! Deren Pellegrini ’23 kept the opponent scoreless and Ameer Hajji ’24 took care of the offense by making two goals.
Cheer on the MICDS Rams at the following quarterfinal games:
  • Monday, February 13 against Wentzville Holt at 8: 45 p.m. at South City (6050 Wells Rd, St. Louis, 63128)
  • Tuesday, February 14 against Wentzville Holt at 6:50 p.m. at Webster Ice Arena (33 E. Glendale, Webster Groves, 63119)

Go Rams!

Best Buddies Pajama Jam

The MICDS Best Buddies organization hosted its seventh annual Pajama Jam event last Friday, February 3 in STEM. Best Buddies pairs students with intellectual and developmental disabilities with students without disabilities, and there are events all around town throughout the year that they attend together. MICDS partners with KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) through Best Buddies.

At the Pajama Jam events, buddies decorated pillowcases, watched Frozen, made bracelets, colored, and played Uno, Pictionary, and Corn Hole. Myla Finnegan ’23 shared, “My favorite part of the Best Buddies Pajama Jam was being able to design and color a pillowcase with one of the buddies, Riley, and then singing along to the movie Frozen with other club members, my sister, and Katie, another buddy! Katie showcased, on the Brauer stage, her ability to sing every word to “Let it Go,” and we even got one of the buddies, Eric, to go out of his comfort zone and sing along too. Also, I enjoyed playing Uno and cornhole together with our buddies.”

Caroline Koman ’25 liked the quality time spent with her buddy. “My favorite part of last week’s event was being able to spend time with my best buddy Katie and be able to do fun activities together that we both enjoy. I also liked being able to be all together as a club, so my buddy could meet my friends buddies too,” she said.

This event is always a huge success and so much fun to be a part of,” added Best Buddies Club Faculty Sponsor Erin Hamill. “It’s an annual event for both our buddy pairs and our other Best Buddies members. We started this event in 2016 and have held it every year but 2021 (due to COVID).”


Several Rams Qualify for HOSA State Leadership Conference

Interested HOSA/Future Health Professionals members were invited to participate in the State Leadership Conference Qualifier which was hosted at MICDS on January 26 and 27. The MICDS team had students participate in events ranging from teamwork to individual subject exams. “This year, we have 17 students going to the State Leadership Conference which will be in Rolla High School on March 27 and 28!” shares Amisha Poojari ’25. Below is the list of our 2023 SLC competitors:

  • Barbara James Volunteer Service Award – Saivi Gadi ’25
  • Clinical Specialty – Omkaar Alakkassery ’24
  • Creative Problem Solving Team 1 – Anuj Pullakandam ’24, Sameer Shafqat ’24, and Louis Niemeyer ’24
  • Creative Problem Solving Team 2 – Maya Ashley-Martin ’24, Ipsita Bhogaraju ’24, and Saivi Gadi ’25
  • Cultural Diversities & Disparities in Healthcare – Diya Makkapati ’25
  • Healthy Lifestyle – Macy Lubak ’25
  • Parliamentary Procedure – Sanjana Gandhi ’25, Ric Jain ’25, Abhinav Katyal ’25, Diane Li ’24, Yash Malhotra ’25, Anika Mulkanoor ’25, and Arjun Puri ’25
This year, Amisha Poojari ’25 and Saivi Gadi ’25 are running for Missouri HOSA State Officer positions. During the delegate session, our HOSA voting delegates will be Anika and Yash.

Middle School Mathletes Advance in MATHCOUNTS Competition

Four Middle School Math Team members are headed to the MATHCOUNTS state competition after a local event at St. Louis Community College.

Joshua Lam ‘27, Forest Gong ‘27, Andrew Li ‘28, and Sanjay Malhotra ‘28 brought home a 3rd place finish at the St. Louis Chapter contest on Saturday, February 4, with Joshua placing 10th among all individual competitors. The state competition will be held in March, and the boys will be cheered on from home by fellow MATHCOUNTS competitors Bryce Kundel ‘27, Victor Li ‘28, Evan Gao ‘29, Amya Singla ‘29, Evan Ragland ‘29, and Shayaan Merchant ‘29.

Saturday’s chapter contest marked the first off-campus meet the 6th-8th Grade Math Team has had in many years. It was also the first time MICDS was represented in the MATHCOUNTS arena.

The day was split among four rounds: Sprint, Target, Team, and Countdown. The Sprint and Target rounds determined students’ individual scores and possible welcome into the Countdown round, while the Team round offered extra points for MICDS as a whole.

Students raced against the clock in the Sprint round, answering as many of the 30 questions as they could within a 40-minute timeframe. Time is a major component in a math competition, so knowing how to budget this resource was extremely important. In contrast – the Target round offers meatier questions, but students must tackle them two at a time in short six-minute bursts.  Finishing one burst quickly does not offer more time on another, so students need to be detailed in their thinking and make sure every problem counts.

In the Team round, Joshua, Forest, Andrew, and Sanjay had 20 minutes to answer 10 complex problems. They could talk to one another, share ideas, split up their work, and compare results before finally submitting a single set of responses.

After three intense rounds, every student ate lunch and visited with new friends and tablemates as the results were tallied. After refueling, students, coaches, and parents headed into the contest room to watch the top 12 students compete in an exhibition Countdown round. Joshua represented MICDS well in this live, head-to-head problem-solving spectacle.

Good luck at the MATHCOUNTS state competition, and congratulations to all 10 Ram Mathletes!

Staff Spotlight: Kate Haffenreffer Earns Women's Commitment Award

Varsity Girls Head Lacrosse Coach Kate Haffenreffer was recognized on Thursday by the St. Louis Chapter of USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame for earning the Women’s Commitment Award! Kate has coached MICDS girls lacrosse to four state championships, six final four appearances, and has had three St. Louis Post-Dispatch Players of the Year. She herself played at Dartmouth College, earned two Ivy League championships, had two NCAA Elite 8 appearances, and earned All-Ivy and All-American Honors.

Several of Kate’s MICDS players surprised her at the award ceremony. We are so proud of our incredible coach!

Congratulations, Coach Haff!