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Denair Middle School celebrates Pi Day with pie and math, of course
Denair Pi Day
Custodian and math whiz Charlie Asbill astonished Denair Middle School students and staff on Monday by reciting 820 numbers of the mathematic constant Pi, during a Pi Day rally. - photo by Photo Contributed

Pie is sweet. It’s even sweeter when one gets to smash it into someone’s face.  A pie to the face was how Denair Middle School kicked off its celebration of “Pi Day.”  Pi Day commemorates the most recognizable mathematical constant in the world.  Pi is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter.  Its value is approximately equal to 3.14159265 — with the beginning numbers, 3.14, making March 14 the perfect day to honor the constant.

At Denair Middle School, the answer to the question “May I have some pie, please?”  ended in a comical conclusion on Monday as Principal Travis Manley and teachers Linda Richardson, David Rodriguez and Jasmin Perez had cream pies delivered to their faces by pupils. 

The school not only celebrated the day's sweet tasting homophone, but also the mathematical constant itself.

Middle school math teacher Roseanne Cantwell was the impetus behind Monday’s rally. Her leadership group – wearing Pi T-shirts – opened with a modified version of the rock ’n roll classic “American Pie.” Then, one by one, six students took the stage to recite as many numbers in the pi sequence as they could.

In front of 270 students and numerous staff, six students took the stage to recite as many numbers in the pi sequence as they could.  Sixth-grader Allie Williams led the pack by reciting 447 decimal places of pi. Sixth-grader Trevor Silva (239 numbers), eighth-grader Logan Pierce (109), seventh-grader Leslie Tadao (101), seventh-grader Allison Neal (82) and sixth-grader McKenna Galvan (33) also took their turns, each earning loud applause from the crowd.

Custodian and math whiz Charlie Asbill astonished the crowd by reciting 820 numbers. Two years ago, Asbill learned the first 400 numbers of pi, reciting them in front of a Denair Middle School math class. 

By the time he was done, students, staff and others were shaking their heads in amazement while giving him a thunderous ovation.

Asbill said he hasn’t practiced much the past two weeks because “the numbers were cemented in my head.” He equated it to an Olympic athlete who stops hard training many days ahead of an event, hoping to conserve maximum strength in muscles. Or, in this case, Asbill’s brain.

Still, he admitted performing in front of so many people gave him butterflies.

“It’s certainly different with a crowd like that,” he said. “But I enjoyed it.”