High school students compete in 2023 Academic Showdown Championship

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ten high school teams from across the state were in Charleston Friday to compete in the 2023 Academic Showdown Championship.

The competition is an academic head-to-head tournament testing students’ knowledge in subjects including math, history, sports, fine arts and more.

The event was hosted by the state Department of Education at the state Culture Center.

State Department of Arts, Culture, and History curator and moderator Randall Reid Smith lead the event. It opened with a grand processional of teams, featuring bands and cheerleaders.

State Senate President Craig Blair (R-Berkeley) offered some words of encouragement to the high schoolers who are about to graduate this spring.

“Learning is a life-long experience. Don’t forget that,” Blair said. “Our job in the Legislature and the executive branch is to be able to make it so there’s jobs here for you. Stay here. Stay in West Virginia.”

State Higher Education Chancellor Sarah Armstrong Tucker echoed those words and said going to a college, university or trade school is important because there are more opportunities in the state compared to a few years ago.

“We used to have a problem where we had lots of people and no jobs. We don’t have that problem anymore. In order to get those jobs, you need to keep working. You need to keep your education and training. You need to move on to some form of post-secondary education. We will find you a spot here and you will make a lot of money,” Tucker said.

Friday’s matchups included:

  1. James Monroe High School vs. Winfield High School
  2. Morgantown High School Team 1 vs. George Washington High School
  3. Spring Mills High School vs. Wheeling Park High School
  4. Huntington High School vs. Morgantown High School Team 2
  5. Ripley High School vs. Berkeley Springs High School

The grand champion will win $10,000 with each team member receiving $2,500.

There are also awards for the Academic Showdown Most Valuable Player, which is a $1,000 prize, and the All-Tournament Team, which includes a $2,500 prize with each team member receiving $500.