Parkland Students Prove Smarter Than Teachers

A group of five Parkland High School students emerged victorious in the first annual 'Are You Smarter Than A Teacher?' competition.

An academic "Super Bowl" of sorts was on tap Tuesday afternoon at the Parkland High School library with 230 students and faculty vying for top honors in the inaugural "Are You Smarter Than A Teacher?" competition.

In the end, five Parkland students -- Molly Diamondstein, Elena Mandry, Kirby Peroza, Katrina Buckland and Ross Bloszinsky -- bested five faculty members in the final round to walk away with the championship.

"We all went to a meeting, and we're all really good friends, so we decided to do it together," Diamondstein said. "It's shocking that we beat our teachers."

"It was really fun," Mandry said. "We gave it our all."

Teacher Eric Roberts, whose team fell to the students in the final round, called the competition phenomenal.

"It was so much fun. Really amazing," he said.

The school's Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society co-hosted the event. Each player paid $3 to compete. The total amount of money raised, which included snack sales, topped $700. The money is being donated to the Parkland Education Foundation.

Students and faculty formed teams of five to compete against each other. Honor Society students kept score and read questions in the categories of math, science, sports, pop culture, history, and the arts.

They answered questions such as, how many fights did Muhammad Ali win in his career, when did the NYC subway begin operating, how many indentations are on a dime coin? They answered questions until time ran out; the highest score won. 

Things looked pretty rosy for teachers after two rounds of play with just two student teams still alive. But the final fivesome of students hung tough to take home the victory.

The number of students and faculty taking part in the inaugural competition surprised co-organizers Julie Wood, a Spanish teacher, and Lauren Will, librarian and media specialist.

"We modeled it after [the cable television show] "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader," Wood said. "It has just blown up. It's double what we expected." There were 13 student teams and 10 teacher teams. "Students and teachers were recruiting others for teams. It's become very competitive."

Wood said staff has been wanting as many school activities as possible that blend students and faculty.


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