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03/17/2015

Academic Champions Will Compete March 19 on Winthrop Campus

Quick Facts

 Over the past three months, teams from 40 of the state’s 81 school districts have been competing each week.
 Nearly 325 middle and high school students will participate in this second annual State Champion of Academics.

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Leland Graham
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - The State Champion of Academics for the Palmetto state will be crowned March 19 at Winthrop University.

Sixteen teams representing four regions of will meet and play “quiz bowl” or “Jeopardy”–style matches to determine a middle and high school winner. Over the past three months, teams from 40 of the state’s 81 school districts have been competing each week.

The following teams have advanced from regional tournaments and will be representing their region in the championship matches:

Midlands: Lugoff-Elgin High, Camden High, Camden Middle, Pine Ridge Middle
Olde English: Fort Mill High, Indian Land High, Indian Land Middle, Fort Mill Middle
Pee Dee: Wilson High, Lake View High, Williams Middle, Johnsonville Middle
Western Piedmont: Laurens High, Mid-Carolina High, Laurens Middle, Hickory Tavern Middle

The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Plowden Auditorium located in the Withers/W.T.S. Building. There will be eight semi-final matches – matching schools by size and level.

Winners of these matches will then meet on the Plowden stage for their “State Championship” at 10:30 a.m. (Division II Middle); 11:30 a.m. (Division I Middle); 1:30 p.m. (Division II HS); and 2:30 p.m. (Division I HS).

Trophy presentations will follow the completion of each level – middle and high school (~ 12:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.). S.C. Rep. Raye Felder, vice chair, House Education Committee, and Lisa Johnson, associate dean, Winthrop’s Richard W. Riley College of Education, will present the trophies.

Moderating the event is Leland Graham, a two-time Jeopardy champion and a Winthrop alumnus. He grew up playing trivia in the academic challenge fields of the Midlands and as a member of St. Andrews Middle School and Columbia High School, his teams won several district Quiz Bowl titles. At Winthrop, he played on the school’s trivia team and competed with the Model United Nations team. He now resides in Alexandria, Virginia, where he works as a government contractor.

Nearly 325 middle and high school students will participate in this second State Championship of Academics. “The purpose is to truly celebrate and promote academic achievement in the same way in which society supports athletic achievement,” said Michael W. Fanning, executive director of the Olde English Consortium and sponsor for the event.

Last year, only two regions competed – the Pee Dee and Old English Consortium.This year, the Midlands and Western Piedmont were added – insuring that half of the state's districts are represented in this chase for the state championship.

For more information, contact Fanning at 803/385-5143 (office) or by e-mailing him at FanningOEC@gmail.com.

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