Medical Academy Team Wins Battle of the Books Competition Second Time, Qualifies for Regional Meet

Medical Academy Team Wins District Battle of the Books Competition Second Time, Qualifies for Inaugural Regional Meet
Posted on 02/12/2018
Photo of winning Team McCormickA team of three students from South Texas Academy for Medical Professions (Medical Academy) in Olmito won the district’s fourth annual face-to-face Battle of the Books district competition on Friday, Jan. 19, taking the coveted “traveling trophy” for the second year in a row.

The winning high school team – Team McCormick – includes Medical Academy seniors Sabine Garcia of Santa Rosa, Lainey Garcia of Weslaco, and Krystal Adan of Harlingen. The team was sponsored by Medical Academy English instructor, and South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High) alumnus, Matthew McCormick.

Team Moreno from South Texas Preparatory Academy (STPA) won the middle school competition. This team, made up of seventh-graders Gabriela Cadena, Laura Alanis, Ann Thomas, and Alex Arreola, all of Edinburg, was sponsored by STPA English instructor Virginia Moreno.

Although interest in participating was high at the STISD campuses, teams were narrowed down to two students per each campus through Round One, a timed written exam competition in November.

The Round Two face-to-face district competition, held at Biblioteca Las Americas in Mercedes, included eight rounds of questions for the high school teams and five rounds of questions for the middle school teams.

In the high school competition, Team McCormick had the highest cumulative score at the end of all eight rounds. There were tied scores for second and third place. Team McQuaid from Med High and Team Human from Medical Academy tied for second, while Team Martinez and Team Yeupell, both from The Science Academy of South Texas (Science Academy), tied for third. In the middle school competition, Team Moreno had the highest cumulative score at the end of all five rounds. Teams Power, Marquez, and Sauceda placed second, third and fourth, respectively.

During the oral competition, high school competitors were asked questions about eight books included in a reading list issued by the Region One Education Service Center (ESC) at the beginning of the year. The reading list consists of The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina, The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork, and The Reader by Traci Chee. Participating middle school students were tested on five books, including Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Edgar, Zero Day by Jan Gangsei, Mayday by Karen Harrington, Max Helsing and the Thirteenth Curse by Curtis Jobling and Ghost by Jason Reynolds.

The two winning teams from the face-to-face competition will represent STISD at the inaugural Region One ESC Battle of the Books middle school and high school competitions in mid-February.

The STISD librarians established Battle of the Books in 2015 to increase student excitement about reading and allow for more networking and competition between campuses. Middle school students have competed alongside the high school students until this year, when a separate competition was established for them.

Team McCormick, winning team in high school competition

Photo of winning Team McCormick

Team Moreno, winning team in middle school competition
Photo of winning Team Moreno