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Trophy goes to CV High in Scholastic Bowl

By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com

Crescenta Valley High School emerged victorious Monday in the Glendale Unified Scholastic Bowl, which pits some of the district's brightest high school students against one another in a game-show-style competition.

“I think we all tried hard to do the best we could to succeed,” Crescenta Valley junior Tae Min Kim said as he posed for a victory photo with his teammates.

Following the Crescenta Valley score of 79 points was Clark Magnet with 68 points, Hoover with 65 points and Glendale with 62 points.

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The 22nd annual Scholastic Bowl drew about 300 people to the Glendale High School auditorium, where KNBC weatherman Fritz Coleman served as host.

“This is truly one of the highlights of my year,” Coleman said. “I work in the news business, and I just love to come and see the wonderful, positive side of American youth today.”

Monday’s live quiz portion of the Scholastic Bowl followed an essay contest earlier in the month. Team members had one hour to write an essay reflecting on the role of Super PACs in the Republican primary elections. Glendale High School won the essay contest with a score of 33.

The quiz portion included two rounds. In the first, team members were free to consult with one another and then respond as a group. In the second, each participant responded individually using a buzzer system.

The questions tested the students’ knowledge of social science, language arts, math, science and fine arts. They were given the task of solving algebraic equations and defining literary terms such as “hyperbole” and “assonance.”

Last year, Clark Magnet won the bowl for the first time in school history. This year, Hoover and Crescenta Valley high schools traded the lead for much of the competition before the Crescenta Valley squad claimed the 3-foot-tall trophy.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, students spent their lunch breaks preparing, Crescenta Valley team coach Amanda Chatem said.

“They are generally really smart,” Chatem said. “That kind of thing can’t be taught.”

There was room for a bit of playful fashion in the competition, too — the Glendale High School contingent donned suspenders and bow ties, while the Clark teammates sported black top hats.

The members of the winning team each won a $500 scholarship, as well as the scholastic bowl trophy, which will remain at CV High until the competition next year. The second-, third- and fourth-place finishers received $250, $150 and $100, respectively.

“In schools, sometimes when we celebrate achievement it is on an individual level,” Assistant Supt. Katherine Fundukian Thorossian said. “Here we get to celebrate teams, which is really how anyone succeeds.”

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