St. Stephens and St. Agnes Rock It’s Academic

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By Mary Wadland

Senior Anna Godek and juniors Sam Dubke, and Sterling Gilliam on far right quickly giving correct answers as competition grew tough. Courtesy photo.
Senior Anna Godek and juniors Sam Dubke, and Sterling Gilliam on far right quickly giving correct answers as competition grew tough. Courtesy photo.

Senior Anna Godek, along with junior San Dubke and Sterling Gilliam crushed the competition on Saturday, September 19, advancing to the playoffs in March.  Coached by faculty members Kara Sandoval and  Dr. Roberta Klein, the sharp high schoolers will get to watch themselves on television when the show airs on October 10 on NBC4 at 10:30 am.

The show began in 1961 with the hope that it would spotlight shining stars of academia the same way other venues elevated gifted high school athletes, and it has worked. Still today, schools send cheerleaders, banners and bands to rally their stars to victory. I n high school, Oscar winner Sandra Bullock attended as a cheerleader when her Arlington, VA high school competed.

Hillary Clinton, in 1965 in team photo (second from left in back row), Park Ridge, Illinois. Courtesy photo.
Hillary Clinton, in 1965 in team photo (second from left in back row), Park Ridge, Illinois. Courtesy photo.
Young George Stephanopolous in 1978. Courtesy photo.
Young George Stephanopolous in 1978. Courtesy photo.

Recognized today by Guinness Book of World Records as America’s longest running TV quiz show, It’s Academic was where Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton might have first cut her teeth answering questions under the bright lights, but she was an alternate only on her Park Ridge, Illinois high school team in 1965. However, notable journalist and author Cokie Roberts can claim the show as her first professional gig when she was hired as a producer in 1964. And political strategist and Good Morning America anchor, George Stephanopoulos was tested in 1978.

So who knows where the kids from St. Stephens and St. Agnes may go from here. They are in good company.