Are You Smarter than St. Mary's Academic Team?

It was the question that quickly flashed through my mind as I watched our Academic Team scrimmage in the school gym in front of the 5th through 8th grade students, teachers, and parents.  It was the day before the team was scheduled to compete in the PAGE* Academic Bowl’s regional competition.   It was the day that showed all that our St. Mary’s team was ready. 

Some questions were easy, but many were not.  It was impressive to listen to the students answer those tough questions.  The PAGE Academic Bowl reminds me a little of the TV game show, Jeopardy.  As in Jeopardy, the questions range in difficulty and cover a wide variety of topics—math, science, geography, current events, world leaders, language arts, etc.  The differences are that in the Academic Bowl you do not select your topic (Alex, I’ll take music for $200) or answer with a question, but your team has to be prepared to buzz in first with the answer.

The 7th and 8th grade Academic Team students began preparing for the competition immediately following Labor Day.  They would arrive early to school two mornings a week to practice. 

Four of our awesome Junior High teachers—Mrs. Skidmore, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Fain, and Mrs. Weber—are St. Mary’s Academic Team coaches.  Mrs. Skidmore told me that the Academic Team was organized a little differently this year as this year there were no tryouts. All 20 students who wanted to be on the team were participants.  This gave all the students a great opportunity to experience preparing for the Academic Bowl.  

The practice sessions ran a little differently too.  They included scrimmage opportunities where scores were counted.  Total scores were tallied and the top 10 participants were invited to compete in the regional competition.    

Our St. Mary’s team did a great job in the competition.  They brought home a regional runner-up trophy. 


St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School likes the challenge of academic competitions.   In addition to the PAGE Academic Bowl, St. Mary’s participates in the Future City Competition, various literary/writing competitions, MATHCOUNTS, Catholic Math League, National Geographic Bee, Scripps National Spelling Bee, and more.  Our students enjoy challenging their brains.  Go Saints!

*PAGE stands for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation.  More information about the PAGE Academic Bowl can be found at