by Sienna Lee (Class of 2015) and Kieran Tebben (Class of 2013), NH-S High School
On Thursday, April 4th, New Hope-Solebury High School’s Reading Olympics team won a blue ribbon. The competition took place at the high school with an award ceremony in the Stephen J. Buck Theater.
This is the fifth year that NH-S has held the senior competition. All high schools in the Bucks County area had teams in attendance and a total of 32 teams competed.
Several hundred students came to New Hope for this occasion. The name of the NH-S team was the Dream Team and there were students on the team from all grades.
Members included Jessica Bouloutian, Mackenzie Cavanagh, Kristina Degiovanni, Larissa Depamphilis, Katie Dick, Jessica Du, Erik Gould, Jackie Ignatowitz, Bradley Neumann, Isabella Panzica, Jillian Roberts, Emma Singer and Julia Stein.
Each team member read as many books as he or she could out of 45 books. The books cover a wide range of genres, ensuring there is a book that interests everyone on the team.
Books are selected by a committee of librarians from surrounding counties, including Chester, Montgomery, Delaware and Bucks counties. During the competition, students were asked questions about the books. There were three rounds of questions and a team needed to score 50 points to earn a blue ribbon.
The Dream Team scored a total of 56 points.
While this is the highest honor in the competition, Reading Olympics is not just about the competition. The event is about the celebration of reading and books and the friendly competition is just a fun way to show off knowledge of the selected books.
Ms. Lisa Naldzin, one of the high school librarians, accompanied the team at the competition as a chaperone and said that she was very proud of their achievements this year. English teacher Ms. June Gomez accompanied the team as a scorekeeper.
Each team in the competition is required to bring a moderator or a scorekeeper, so the Dream Team is grateful to Ms. Gomez for agreeing to help them.
Mr. Michael Finley, another high school teacher, contributed greatly, helping set up the classrooms around the school for the completion. NH-S High School Reading Specialist, Dr. Emi Lengyel, showed her support for the competition by doing announcements over the PA system between rounds.
Many students also helped make this event a success. The Mask and Zany Theater Club sold pretzels and water as refreshments for the participants. Seniors Laurine Verwiel and Matt Wenz showed visiting students to their rooms and handed out medals at the award ceremony. Ms. Naldzin’s daughter, Emma, also helped, along with a few others.
This year’s competition was the 20th annual competition and next year’s will be held on the first Thursday in April. The book list for next year can be found on the school’s library website for anyone who is interested in joining the competition next year or just looking for some great books to read!