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Class notes: West Hall academic team competes on TV show
The West Hall High School Academic Team recently competed on WSB-TV’s High-Q quiz show. From left are team captain Savannah Schneider, coach Mark C. Kelly, Chet Sharma, Chip Allen, Austin Paul and WSB’s John Bachman.

West Hall High Schools’s academic bowl team faced off against Buford High School in an episode of WSB-TV’s “High-Q” quiz show.

The event, which aired Sunday on Channel 2, may not have turned out like the team expected, but members said they enjoyed the experience of being on the set of a television show.

“I can tell you I enjoyed looking behind the curtain to see how a (television) show like that is produced,” wrote Mark Kelly, the academic bowl coach, in an email. “Some people may make assumptions about how things happen, but once you are in the studio it is always enlightening to see how things work.”

With just seconds left in the contest, West Hall was up five points on Buford. The challenger, however, buzzed in right before the final sound, eventually winning by 15 points.

But, Kelly said, the result didn’t take away from the experience.

“All of the students have said they enjoyed the experience and appreciated the opportunity to compete for West Hall,” wrote Kelly. “I think the team represented West Hall well in its actions and appearance. I agree with what one student said: ‘I enjoyed the experience, even if I didn’t like the result.’”

Kelly said the television station had to review the tape before it declared the official winner.

Buford will advance to face Douglas County in February in the show’s bracket matchups, with the eventual winner to be decided in May 2013.

“The close result has also shown me how much support I have from my fellow teachers,” wrote Kelly. “Win or lose, it is nice to know who (your) friends are, and who has ‘got your back.’”

The program pits high school students in a quiz show testing their knowledge of various academic subjects.
Taped episodes can be viewed at

Gainesville State will honor the fallen
Gainesville State College has once again joined a nationwide grass-roots effort to honor American servicemen and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade.

On Veterans Day Nov.12, Gainesville State faculty, staff, students and community volunteers will be among those at more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation who will read the names of the 6,600-plus casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, now called Operation New Dawn.

The school has organized the reading of names to begin at 7:40 a.m. on the student center patio, and it will continue until each of the names of the fallen have been read. It is estimated that it will take 40 readers approximately eight hours to read the names in chronological order. In addition to the reading of the names, there will be two remembrance ceremonies, the first at noon and the second being part of the simultaneous nationwide minute of silence at 2 p.m.

A location for reflection will be available for individuals who wish to sit quietly while the names are being read. School counselors will be available for individuals who need their services.

Lee Johnson covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:,, @LeeJTimes

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