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WCS students spar with teachers over quiz questions

WARRENSBURG Five Warrensburg faculty members leaned forward and listened intently Monday to the quiz-bowl moderators question. Who is the Spanish master of geometric art called cubism? moderator Karen Van Dusen asked. Salvador Dali, answered faculty team captain Elaine Cowin, high school librarian. Incorrect, VanDusen said, deferring to the opposing student team for a stab at the right answer. Picasso, the high school students said, prompted by Warrensburg Junior Morgan Harris, a talented art student. Correct, Van Dusen said as the teachers either winced or grinned as spectators in the school cafetorium cheered their fellow students in the academic bowl showdown held as part of Spirit Week at the school. Warrensburg High School faculty tested their knowledge against students in several sessions this week. The competition was held primarily as entertainment, but also as a way to build interest in the academic team which competes annually against about two dozen teams in the region, Warrensburg High School Principal Doug Duell said after watching mondays contest. The academic bowl students work really hard, and this gives them an opportunity to showcase their skills against our faculty, while everyone has fun, he said. The kids really love to watch the kids compete against the teachers. The showdown was held in several sessions this week, with a rotating cast of teachers taking on the students. Monday, the faculty team was staffed with Isibel Munoff, Maureen Leitch, Sally Taibe, and Mark Mularz, as well as Elaine Cowin. Later in the week, a group of faculty members Mike DiFiore, Rex Reynolds, Mark Abbattasti and Matt LaPann, who approach the session with dramatic fervor and wild humor were scheduled to compete, VanDusen said. Theyre like kids behind the buzzers, she said. Theyll challenge answers and protest questions its a lot of fun and the students love it. Mondays faculty team knew the answer to the question: Name the German term for badger dog which designates a small dog with a long body and short legs. Yes, its Dachshund. But the team missed the answer to how many surfaces an icosehedron has. The team was stumped, not recognizing that an icosehedron was a 20-sided polyhedron, a geometric figure. Not all questions were academic. They covered sports, popular culture and current events too. Students were quick answering these latter topics Monday. Asked what political figure had a name which meant the blessed one in Swahili, they had a quick answer after their teachers were clueless. While the faculty members looked dazed with the question, the students offered up their answer with enthusiasm: Barack Obama.

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