National Champ & April Accolades

Danny Stock

National Quiz Bowl Champion

This week, GDS senior Arthur Delot-Vilain won the National Quiz Bowl Championships. After finishing first (six times) or second (twice) over eight total rounds of competition, Arthur ultimately claimed the 2021 National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) High School Individual Player National Championship Tournament title.

According to the NAQT’s website, “Quiz bowl is a fast-paced buzzer competition in which [competitors] compete to answer questions that cover academic subjects like literature and science as well as the broader world of popular culture and current events.”

Arthur has been involved with GDS Quiz Bowl since he joined the school in 9th grade and has also been a member of the GDS It’s Academic! team. 

“I’m happy knowing that I can leave GDS having put a satisfactory cap on my Quiz Bowl career,” Arthur said. “I’m very grateful to [Quiz Bowl advisors and history teachers] Sue [Ikenberry] and Abe [Pachikara] for encouraging me to join Quiz Bowl and to stick with it as a freshman, as well as to the club members, former and present, who have played alongside me through the years.”

Final standings are available on the NAQT website.

Euro Challenge

After weeks of preparation with student coach Pierce DeCain ‘22 and faculty advisor Sue Ikenberry, five GDS 9th and 10th graders logged on to present their work before judges in the annual Euro Challenge held on April 12.

The Euro Challenge competition is a program of the Delegation of the European Union in Washington, DC organized by Working in Support of Education (W!SE) to test 9th and 10th graders’ knowledge and understanding of the European economy and the euro. This year, student teams were asked to describe the current economic situation in the euro area and then select one economic-related challenge confronting the euro area as a whole but illustrated through the lens of a single euro-area country. 

The GDS Euro Challenge team—Juni Irving-Pettyjohn ’24, Susan Lin ’23, Hana Sakr ’24, Leah Li ’24, and Darwin Gu ’24—chose to tackle high youth unemployment in Italy for their presentation. They recommended policies for addressing the challenges of youth unemployment and the role the single European currency has on policymaking.

“I am extremely proud of the work my team has done and the effort we have put in for Euro Challenge,” Susan said. “The highlight of the competition was the 10 minute Q&A session because we were a bit nervous and had to really ponder the fierce questions some judges asked. Still, we managed to answer them together accurately. It has been a delight working with my teammates, and I hope we pass the preliminary round!”
Leah added, “The Euro Challenge really went beyond my expectations. It wasn't as complicated as I thought after all, and I truly enjoyed spending time with my team. The last two weeks before the competition were highly productive and confidence-gaining, and this was definitely a valuable experience to have.”
“The highlight of this experience was seeing a group of interested students come together and work on something they were by no means required to do,” Piece added. “Throughout this pandemic and lockdown, so many people have been simply going through the motions in anticipation of reopening. The fact that there were five students willing to take the time out of their school days to follow a passion should inspire us all to strive for the best despite difficult circumstances.”

Sue Ikenberry applauded the work of the students and their student coach. She said, “Congratulations to the 2021 GDS Euro Challenge Team—Juni, Susan, Hana, Leah, Darwin, and their fearless advisor and coach, Pierce—for creating and executing a tremendously thoughtful presentation for the competition on ‘Youth Unemployment in Italy.’ The competition was held online and the students clearly impressed the judges. We’re still waiting for the results, but whether they move on to the next stage or not, these GDS students should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

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