River Cities Gazette

Miami Springs Senior High students land on quiz show

BRANIAC BATTLE: These MSSH students took part in School Duel 2014, an academic quiz show where high school teams compete to win prizes. From left: Steven Winchester, Max Dunnevitz, Luis Negron, Daniela Zapata, Ellen Scott.
BRANIAC BATTLE: These MSSH students took part in School Duel 2014, an academic quiz show where high school teams compete to win prizes. From left: Steven Winchester, Max Dunnevitz, Luis Negron, Daniela Zapata, Ellen Scott.
Gazette Photo

River Cities Gazette

It’s 'game on' for a group of well-deserving high school students from Miami Springs Senior High School who made it to School Duel 2014, the exciting academic quiz show where high school teams compete to win. 

School Duel is South Florida’s first high school academic television quiz show and is sponsored by Chick-fil-A and BrightStar Credit Union. The show airs locally every Thursday evening on BECON-TV and will feature competing high schools from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. 

Participating MSSH students were selected from the National Honor Society. Once students who wanted to participate were identified, they took part in the School Duel qualifying exam, which consisted of a timed computer-based exam.

Students from Miami Springs Senior High School have tried out for the past two years with no success, but this year is a different story. Approximately 50 high schools competed in the online test. Only the top 20 make it to the televised rounds. For the first time in the history of the school, MSSH qualified. Miami Springs is now part of the top 20 high schools that will compete in a single-elimination tournament to determine who deserves the title of South Florida champion. 

“The students were thrilled, as you can imagine, and it was a wonderful experience,” said Jessica Latoni, sponsor of the National Honor Society and Instructional Leader for the Language Arts department at MSSH. “These opportunities for enrichment are few and far between and I am ecstatic that my students were chosen to participate. Their level of excitement was tangible.”

The School Duel host is Lisa Lee, who is best recognized for her role with the Miami Heat as the HEATV host. The competition consists of four rounds of academic questions dealing with various subject areas.

The show begins with the Warning Shot round, featuring 10-point toss-up questions that may be answered by either team. The second round, the Joust, matches individual players head-to-head for a 10-point question, with the winner earning his/her team the chance to answer three more bonus questions worth up to 30 additional points. Round three is the Rapid Fire round, where teams try to answer up to 10 questions in a 60-second time limit. The final round, the Final Showdown, consists of a series of toss-up questions, worth 20 points each.

“School Duel was a great experience for me. I had never done anything like it before,” said Steven Winchester, a MSSH student and School Duel participant. “Our sponsor would like us to participate in a similar national contest. My team and I didn’t really study for School Duel, but I think if we go to the national contest, we’ll definitely study. All in all, I had a great time and a lot of fun.” 

Besides the learning and having fun part, players on the winning and runner-up teams will receive some great prizes. Prizes include a $1,000 check for each winning student as well as individual trophies. A championship trophy, which stands over two feet tall, also will be presented to the winning school.

The community can get involved in some of the action by participating in the BrightStar Question of the Week and voting each and every week 

for the BrightStar Player of the Game by visiting their website at www.SchoolDuel.tv.

Make sure to set your televisions to record, or tune in every Thursday at 7 p.m. to see different schools compete. If you miss an episode, School Duel will air on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The Golden Hawks will be representing their school and their community in Game 9, which will air on Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m. on WBEC BECON-TV Channel 19 (Comcast) and Channel 63 (Dish Network, Direct TV, AT&T). 

If you’re looking for some quality television for you and your family, look no further. School Duel is designed to reward and showcase intellectual talent in South Florida’s high schools, as well as serve as a positive role model for children of all ages.

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