Teamwork and tenacity. Those two words are at the heart of Margate Middle School's first ever win as the 2016-2017 Vocabulary Bowl Middle School Champion and overall Runner-up.

Margate Middle School celebrated its win in a high-energy ceremony kicked off by the Coconut Creek Drum Line and enlivened by the school's cheerleaders, band, step team and students who sang and rapped about Hundreds of students and staff members packed the bleachers. The event was also attended by Margate Mayor Tony Ruzzano, other local officials, and Broward County school board members and district leaders.

Margate's Spartans mastered 271,781 words between October 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017 to beat over 38,000 schools across the U.S. and Canada in the Bowl. Each month Margate ranked among the top three middle schools, but it wasn't until March that they earned their first monthly Champions Banner, and that win sparked a fire in the Spartans that helped them go all the way to division champs for the entire season.

Top students reveling with Principal Earnest Toliver and Mayor Tommy Ruzzano (seated)

Teamwork came into play on many levels at Margate. Teachers on grade-level teams not only fostered a healthy sense of competition by encouraging students to out-master one another on class leaderboards, they integrated vocabulary instruction into their curriculum and made it a core part of teaching and learning. Competition was certainly a motivating factor, but vocabulary enrichment was always at the heart of what Margate's teachers wanted their students to accomplish. Because the teachers valued both, they sustained a year-long commitment that supported their students all the way to their ultimate win.

Top 100 students earned medals and certificates of recognition(seated)

Teamwork on the student level was essential, too. The learners at Margate Middle worked as class and grade-level teams to best one another on daily and monthly challenges, and these consistent school-wide efforts made the big win possible in the end. When Principal Toliver's March Madness intensified the Spartan's thirst for victory, the student body mounted a word-learning effort that set a new record for the most words mastered in one month.

At that point in the season, there was no question about the level of teamwork at Margate. The question was whether the Spartans had the tenacity to keep going for one more month to overtake the back-to-back defending champion Lanier Middle in the last few weeks of the season. With their taste of victory in March, the Spartans really pulled together and decided they had the grit to go for it. With over seven hundred students mastering more than one hundred words each, the learning power at Margate was unstoppable and the Spartans went all the way.

Margate's victory celebration was a display of pride, elation and appreciation for the teamwork and tenacity that led the school to their extraordinary achievement. The Spartan's work ethic and willingness to come together toward a common goal are what the Vocabulary Bowl is all about — harnessing the power of competition to motivate learning and academic success.

The Team congratulates Margate Middle and extends a huge "thank you" to the school's leadership, staff and students for hosting the spectacular awards celebration that capped off their win and another fantastic Vocabulary Bowl season.