Quiz Bowl student group redefines itself in hopes of a more bonded team


Nina Zietlow

From left to right, Upper School history teacher and Quiz Bowl adviser Amy Weisgram, sophomore co-president Patrick Commers, freshman Cole Staples, freshman Ewan Lang, freshman Phoebe Pannier, freshman Cole Thompson, freshman Paul Watkins, and freshman Sarah Wheaton meet during Thursday X Period on Oct. 31.

The St. Paul Academy and Summit School student group Quiz Bowl is going though a year of development. After former Quiz Bowl advisor George Leiter left SPA in 2012, the student group became much less formal than before. “No one was really there to organize aside from [former group president] Chloe Hite,” sophomore Quiz Bowl co-president Netta Kaplan said. Kaplan joined the group as a freshman and is currently co-leading it with sophomore Patrick Commers.

The team, advised by Upper School history teacher Amy Weisgram, is working to become more formal surrounding competitions. “We want to have solid teams, not ones just based on whoever is going to show up [to the competitions],” Kaplan said. The competitions consist of questions written by college students and designed to match high school curriculum. Despite common assumptions, Quiz Bowl is not necessarily intended for people that know a lot about a wide range of topics. The questions are very specific and most people on the team are focused on one area of trivia such as history or pop culture. “You get to know what kind of questions will be asked,” Kaplan said.  In an attempt to become better prepared for competition, the Quiz bowl student group is focusing on educating themselves on a wide variety of topics, including ones that often come up in competition. “In the past people have supported Quiz Bowl. This year, Quiz Bowl is supporting people,” Kaplan said.