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PV, FHS to face off in academic competition

Joshua Kellogg
jkellogg@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON – A new rivalry between students at Farmington and Piedra Vista high schools has been created as the schools will compete in an academic competition next month.

The Farmington High students in Carey Halnier’s gifted seminar staged their own version of a knowledge bowl called Brain Squad Thursday afternoon in the school's Spotlight Theater.

Six teams of students competed against each other to be one of the three teams that will face Pierda Vista in a future Brain Squad event. The gifted teachers at each school are working to find a time and location for the competition.

Halnier said the competition was the class' final project for the semester. The students organized the entire competition from developing the rules and finding the questions to creating the name and running the event.

“It’s a great way to show them that being smart and using your brain can be so fun and so rewarding,” Halnier said.

Junior Noah Manz, left, and junior Vincent Gomez, of Insert Team Here contemplate a question during the Brain Squad academic competition on Thursday at Farmington High School.

Junior Zack Holesinger said the students wanted the questions to be a mix of academic questions and pop culture trivia to add some fun to the competition.

“I think it really motivates us to be better with academics,” Holesinger said.

Two teams squared off at a time, answering questions by moderator and drama teacher Steven Clark in two five-minute rounds.

Before the competition Thursday, three practice sessions were held. Sophomore Monica Briones said the questions were challenging and interesting, with a lot of math and science questions presented to the teams.

Clark asked questions about the video game Mario Kart, the country of Madagascar, retired baseball player Derek Jeter, the chemical element chlorine and author Charlotte Bronte.

Seniors Andrew Jaquez, left, Raimi Clark, Andrew Moss and Payton Sandoval-Belt of the AARP team react during the Brain Squad academic competition on Thursday at Farmington High School.

Clay Foster, head of the gifted department at Piedra Vista, said he was excited to host a Brain Squad competition for students next month.

“Anytime we can compete, especially with our students in an intelligence challenge, I say, let’s go do it,” Foster said.

Foster hopes an academic competition between the two high schools will showcase how smart the students are.

“It’s just amazing how many brilliant kids we have in this community,” Foster said.

The winning team Thursday was AARP, which defeated the Dumm Nerds in the championship match. AARP will get a first-round bye at the upcoming competition.

Junior Noah Manz, left, junior Vincent Gomez, senior Jack Nguyen and junior Caleb Lybrook of Insert Team Here compete in the Brain Squad academic competition on Thursday at Farmington High School.

When asked about the two schools meeting in the new competition, AARP team member and senior Raimi Clark said she was ready for the Panthers to “bring it.” She said her team is ready for a challenge.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.