George Washington Wins First Academic Showdown Championship
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – High school students from across the state were in Charleston Friday to compete in the West Virginia Academic Showdown Championship.
The event took place at the State Cultural Center.
Regional winners from eight high school teams earned a spot in the finals.
On Friday afternoon, George Washington High School won the title after defeating Spring Mills in the championship round.
Friday morning. moderator Randall Reid-Smith opened the event with a grand team procession, featuring bands and cheerleaders.
🏆🎉The West Virginia Academic Showdown Championship team is George Washington High School!
– West Virginia Department of Education (@WVEducation) March 25, 2022
Clayton Burch, the state’s superintendent of schools, offered words of encouragement to students before the contest began.
“All of you students, this may be the first year in a few years that you’ve had a full year in school,” he said. “You stayed in there. You hung there. You are the best of the best.”
Regional competitions were held at various college campuses in West Virginia. Chancellor of the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, said he hopes these settings inspire students to stay in the state to continue their education.
“We hope you have been exposed to some institutions that you were not otherwise exposed to and maybe this will get you thinking about staying in the state and going to one of our colleges,” he said. she told students Friday.
During the event, Reid-Smith, who is also curator of the state’s Department of Arts, Culture, and History, presented an award to State Senate Speaker Craig Blair for his dedication to the arts.
Blair said he hopes the competition will continue year after year.
“Our best and brightest need to be showcased as our athletics in this state. Then our job is to make sure we find and get full employment so you don’t have to leave this state. You can stay here, work, live and raise a family,” he said.
The competition uses the official National Academic Quiz Tournament questions for all regional and league matches.
GW advanced to the first round on Friday after defeating Greenbrier East High School. PikeView High School won out over Tug Valley High School.
Spring Mills qualified for the championship after dominating the field consisting of teams from Sherman High, Berkeley Springs High School and Ripley High.
The one-day championship was broadcast on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s YouTube page.