Academic contest pits schools against schools

“Clevers,” the All Saints Catholic School eighth-grade quiz bowl team, won the Scott County Catholic schools middle school quiz bowl honor May 13. Members of the team are, from left, Walt Krommenhoek, Bryant Campbell, Katie Fennelly and Kristin Ketelaar.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT — What started out as a middle school activity at All Saints Catholic School turned into a Scott County Catholic school competition.

All Saints’ Ashleigh McCarthy, academic support, thought a little competition among the middle school students would be good. She had done quiz bowls elsewhere, and introduced the idea at All Saints.

“After the (inner-campus) competition there was a lot more excitement,” said Jeff Brownfield, assistant principal at All Saints.

An overwhelming number of students wanted to do it again and even more wanted to participate. After additional quiz bowls on campus, Brownfield brought the idea of a Scott County competition to the other principals.


“We are always looking to do something fun — yet academic,” he said.

So the other three Catholic schools — Lourdes in Bettendorf and John F. Kennedy and St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport — agreed to participate.

Ten teams of four people each were formed that could include sixth-, seventh- and/or eighth-graders. Two additional teams included the principals and one of the teachers.

On May 13, the 10 teams gathered at All Saints for some friendly competition. Questions were submitted prior to the event from all the schools and entered into a computer. The computer program randomly selected the questions, Brownfield said.

Subjects ranged from religion and physical education to Spanish and language arts.

The All Saints eighth-grade team “Clevers” won the competition. Walt Krommenhoek of the winning team said when he participated in the first quiz bowl he was unsure about wanting to do it. “It turned out to be a fun experience.”

Playing against other Catholic school students was enjoyable. He said he “took over in the third round” answering questions and now has bragging rights about his team winning the competition.

Another participant, Kristin Ketelaar, said she thought the original quiz bowl would be boring. “Once I got into it, it was a lot of fun.” She liked seeing friends from the other Catholic schools and would participate in another bowl at the high school level if it were offered.

“We did this for fun, friendly competition,” Brownfield said.

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