Juniors, seniors reclaim K-Bowl crown

San Juan Public Schools Foundation Treasurer Jim Skoog presents the “big check

Suleiman the Magnificent, Atticus Finch, Gene Gould and Sacagawea were the answers. Do you know the questions?

Except for Gene Gould, whom no one could identify as Friday Harbor’s first mayor, the juniors and seniors came forth with those names without difficulty on their way to winning yet another coveted Knowledge Bowl championship, sponsored for the 20th consecutive year by San Juan Public Schools Foundation.

By winning, the Friday Harbor High School “fab four” evened the all-time, adult-student competition at 10 wins each since the 1995 inception of the now-legendary contest. It was the third year in a row for a school team, following back-to-back wins by the 9th-10th grade team in 2012 and 2013.11th/12thKBowlteam

Senior Ellery Von Dassow is the only student known to have won the Knowledge Bowl more than once while competing with a different class. In addition to helping the junior-senior team win this year’s K-Bowl crown, Ellery was a member of the winning 2012 9th-10th grade team.

However, as a senior this year, Ellery has no chance to challenge Howard Schonberger, who led Lions Club teams to four victories in the early 2000s, and from 2009 through 2011, the longest winning streak and only “three-pete” performance in the contest’s storied history.

The Friday Harbor 9th and 10th graders tied the Minions (of Despicable Me) from the Rotary Club for second place. Surveyor Bob Anderson said Rotary “followed a successful rope-a-dope strategy until round 15,” falling behind early but roaring back by wagering their entire cache of 33 points on the final question. The eighth grade team captured the “best costume” prize with their “Orange Crush” them, complete with makeshift bottle-top headgear.

Master of Ceremonies (and school board chairman) Brent Snow, in his third appearance in the role, kept the evening moving in the best Alex Trebek style, aided by the Friday Harbor High School Jazz Band and the Elementary School ukelele performers. A video presentation of school life by Debbie Taylor and a short commercial and thank-you to the San Juan Public Schools Foundation by Larry Wight, on behalf of the STEM program, one of many beneficiaries of a $60,000 check presented to School District Superintendent Rick Thompsen 9th/10thKBowlteamby the foundation.

The 20th year of the Knowledge Bowl also marked an important milestone for the Foundation.

“We have now contributed over $1 million to public schools on San Juan Island,” Foundation President Nancy Young said.

And now Ellery Von Dassow, Sam Gabler Brown, Maddy Marinkovich and Michael Hoeller will join the “gallery of greats” on the Knowledge Bowl Winners plaque in the front hall trophy case at the high school.

Knowledge Bowl fans can look forward to 2015, when juniors Hoeller and Brown have the opportunity to defend their title next year.