Students vs. Admins vs. Teachers: Who will win?

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Story and Pictures by Claire Guo, Opinion Editor

Disclaimer: This is a dramatic account that should not be taken too seriously.

Athletic Director Kevin Pechin leaps up in his chair, hollering with his hands in the air. Assistant principal Jamie Bankert pats him on the back before two hand high-fiving fellow assistant principal Anthony DiLella. Next to them, Principal Dr. Amy Meisinger pumps her fist in triumph.

This is what victory looks like.

The Admin team has just won their first point in an after-school Quiz Bowl: Students vs. Admin vs. Teachers.

The day is Feb. 11. In Room 268, there are three tables, each with four chairs and four players. In a quiz-bowl-style game — contestants are asked trivia questions, and the first team to buzz in and answer correctly gets five points — students from Academic Competition are competing against the five administrators and a number of teachers from different subject areas. Just for fun.

Or glory.

Academic Competition adviser Michael Cruz acts as moderator, asking questions as a so-called “impartial” judge. When asked whose team he was really on, Cruz replied, “I’m neutral. I’m the Switzerland.”

On the whiteboard behind the contestants, where senior R.J. Mita and junior J.P. Infortuna are taking turns keeping score, the tally marks tell a story. The first three rounds the student and teachers are neck and neck, at 85 and 75 points respectively, the admins trailing behind at 35. The teachers steal the lead during the next round, jumping to 100 while the students lag behind at 95.

It’s the fifth round when the tide turns.

Four unsuspecting students — one of which, I freely admit, was me — four administrators and four teachers sat down. This round would be different. It started with a sports topic: which NFL team were each of these players from? Question after question, Pechin clicked away.

“Dallas Cowboys.”

“Miami Dolphins.”

“Philadelphia Eagles.”

The teachers secured 25 more points, while the administrators scored a whopping 80.

“No!” cried the students’ teammates, who stood two feet in front of them. “Yes!” cried the teachers across the room, only not really. They more like grinned.

The teams switched out players, but it was too late. Bankert and social studies teacher Michael Palmatier were on fire.

The game would end like this. Students: 155. Admins: 120. Teachers: 160.

We had lost by one question.

Devastation.

“No!” cried the horde of students who had gathered to watch. The tally marks etched on the whiteboard looked final, like an epitaph on a tombstone. Cruz closed his packet of trivia, a suspicious-looking grin on his face.

As everyone filed out, I could still hear the buzzers ringing in my ears. Next year, I thought to myself. There’s always next year.

Check out more photos below!

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Claire Guo can be reached at [email protected]