Trickum Middle School's Academic Team qualified for the Professional Association of Georgia Edcuators Academic tournament finals for a second year in a row.
The Trickum Academic Team, coached by Linda LaPerre and Cary Sell, was the only repeating team from last year to qualify for the finals of this prestigious tournament, LaPerre said.
Out of the 133 teams who started the competition this season, only 22 qualified to continued on to the state semi-finals which were held last weekend at Georgia College in Milledgeville. Of those 22 teams, only four will be competing in the finals on February 11.
The competition, which resembles a team version of Jeopardy, challenges the kids on history, science, math, literature, art, geography, spelling, and current events. All questions in the competition are based on the curriculum taught in Georgia schools.
The team of 12 at Trickum Middle School consists of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. More than 40 kids began the audition process in the fall. They take a written test, a buzzer test, and compete in mock competitions to qualify for the team.
Trickum Middle's teams have been strong for the past 10 years, LaPerre said. They've gone to the PAGE finals three times.
At Trickum, the strength lies in the fact that "We aren't a one-man team," La Perre said. Every member is expected to have a major and a minor, so that a geography major will probably know the answer to a question about Asia, for example.
"They truly impress me all the time with their love of kowledge and their thirst for knowledge," LaPerre said of the team. "They're all going to go far in life." Many of them go on to be valedictorians and salutatorians in high school and attend Ivy League schools, she said.
The Trickum Middle School teams have also been invited to national tournaments in Chicago and New Orleans, but that will require some major fundraising, LaPerre said.
None of it would be possible without the parents, LaPerre said, and she wanted to be sure that her thanks were expressed here: "We just really appreciate the parents, hauling the kids all over Georgia."
The three other schools that will compete in the PAGE finals are Richmond Hill Middle School in Bryan County; Fulton County's Webb Bridge Middle School; and Muscogee County's Midland Middle School.