Compete off the field
At Porter-Gaud, we understand that each student is unique in their gifts, interests, and abilities. We offer a wide variety of academic competitions that capture their interests and challenge them to develop their talents. Each team builds community among its members by stressing the importance of collaboration while also sharpening students’ minds through stimulating, challenging tasks that enhance what they are learning in the classroom. Throughout the school’s history, Porter-Gaud Middle School and Upper School students have achieved high levels of success in earning regional and state championships.
Quiz Bowl was (re)founded spring 2017, the sesquicentennial year of Porter-Gaud School. SCISA Regional Champions 2018 and 2019, two-time qualifier for the Small School Nationals, the competitive Academic Team continues to build upon its precocious start. The team hosts the Porter-Gaud Invitational Tournament, a National Academic Quiz Tournament qualifier, in the spring, one of approximately twelve tournaments attended during the academic year.
Goals of Quiz Bowl experience:
- To provide a forum for intellectual stimulation and fellowship for all interested Porter-Gaud Upper School students
- To establish a competitive traveling team to compete in South Carolina and beyond. An outlet for academic excellence, Quiz Bowl should foster continued intellectual growth beyond the classroom, and the Academic Team should project our brightest onto the greater academic community.
The second annual Porter-Gaud Invitational Quiz Bowl Tournament will be February 22, 2020 on the campus of Porter-Gaud School. Any high school, public or private, may register a maximum of three teams; the field will be capped at 24 teams (21 open spots) with a potential provision for 25. The qualifying tournament will utilize NAQT Packet IS-188 and is registered as a national qualifier for NAQT and PACE.
WANT TO REGISTER? All interested teams can register on the NAQT website. Be sure to select South Carolina events.
The Southside High School Tournament is always one of the spring’s largest and features many of South Carolina’s top Academic Teams. Interestingly, it also boasts the best lunch of any tournament with contributions from many families of diverse cultures. The last time we played at this tournament, 2018, the lunch was especially memorable… as Porter-Gaud won zero matches. This year, a few intrepid players sacrificed the first day of their Winter Break to brave a brisk Greenville morning, seeking sustenance of a more intellectual flavor. It would be a more fulfilling experience.
The Varsity Team, comprised of Seniors Victoria Johnson, Ballard Morton, Courtenay White, and joined by Sophomore Sarah Allen, earned a fifth place finish out of the sixteen teams that survived morning pool play. We continue to solidify our ‘mid-major’ status, remaining dangerously competitive with schools whose populations dwarf our own— in this case, a very near miss of a top four finish.
The Junior Varsity Team— Freshmen only— won their division outright, reprising a similar victory at Governor’s School for Science and Math. Camille Greenwell, Daniel Nirenblatt, and Andrew O’Dell complemented the Second-Place-Individual-Scorer Ethan Lehrman, squeaking by a Dutch Fork team by the slimmest margin before winning against top-seeded Christ Church.
Now: our turn. Let us welcome everyone to Charleston in a way befitting our history. The Porter-Gaud Tournament is THIS SATURDAY. Everyone at practice at Community, everyone on campus Saturday by 8:00am.
Posted by Quiz Bowl advisers Chris Greenwell and Meagan Downing
In a season of historical firsts, it can be tempting to cite with preference the most prestigious. First SCISA State Championship. First SCISA Regional ‘Threepeat’. First JV Championship Trophy. First ‘Friday Night Lights’ sponsored local competition. First P-G individual award in a major tournament… ‘Top JV Scorer’ (also the top 6 scorer overall) Ethan Lehrman was denied the admiration of a packed lecture hall due to a clerical error by USC, yet none applauded the other JV top scorers with more enthusiasm. Our team strives for gracious excellence, and Ethan furnished a particularly poignant example. Other ‘firsts’ matter, too. First correct toss-up question for ‘power’: DuBose Egleston, Camille Greenwell, and Andrew O’Dell (whose first tournament it was as well). First captaincy of a team for Sarah Allen. First time leading a team in scoring was Henry Lee. First time ranking in the top 25 scorers— Senior Captain Victoria Johnson. These are the foundational ‘firsts’, the individual superlatives that contribute to collective excellence. In a tournament where our participation was dominated by Freshmen and Sophomores, we remember that each ‘personal best’, every ‘team first’ accumulates into a sustainable Academic Team.
Middle and Upper School math teams compete against other independent and public schools across Charleston and South Carolina. Each meet is broken down into three categories: geometry, algebra, and advanced math. Porter-Gaud is consistently on the leaderboard. Other competitions include national MATHCOUNTS competition.
The Porter-Gaud Middle School Math Team won the 2019 Charleston Chapter MATHCOUNTS Competition. Three rounds of intense competition provided the format for the contest, which included a Sprint Round (30 questions, 40 minutes, no calculator), a Target Round (8 questions, 24 minutes, calculator), and a Team Round (10 questions, 20 minutes, calculator).
Porter-Gaud students have the opportunity to be a part of Youth in Government (YIG) and Model UN delegations in both Middle and Upper School.
Youth in Government delegations help to create the next generation of good citizens by demystifying governmental systems so our students will know how to affect change in their communities. Students participate in the Upper School and Middle School Model Legislatures held in Columbia, SC each year.
Model UN is a simulation of UN organizations such as the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UNICEF, and others. Its participants take the roles of ambassadors from various countries and debate current issues. Conferences occur throughout the year across the Southeast.
PORTER-GAUD EARNS DISTINGUISHED SCHOOL HONORS AT GSU MODEL UN 2020
Porter-Gaud's Model UN program not only wrapped up another successful conference at Georgia Southern University over the past three days, but delivered its strongest performance to date. For the first time in our program's history of attending this conference, Porter-Gaud was honored with a Distinguished School Delegation award (2nd place out of 20 schools). This was due to unprecedented achievement by our delegation, but particularly due to the strong performances by our award-winners, especially four seniors.
Representing the People's Republic of China in the General Assembly (GA), seniors Will Perrine and Ballard Morton earned Most Outstanding Delegation, the highest honor awarded to participants in the GA. To put this in perspective, there were 140 countries represented in the GA this year, amounting to roughly 280 students, and Will and Ballard's efforts as delegates from China were considered the most impressive. Not only this, but Ballard was judged by the conference leaders to be the strongest of all the Outstanding Delegate award-winners and has been invited to join the GSU collegiate team to compete with them at the national competition in NYC in April. (!!) But PG was not finished...
Representing the Commonwealth of Australia in the Human Rights Committee, which consisted of 44 countries, senior Victoria Johnson was also awarded Most Outstanding Delegate. Talk about "rookie of the year" honors. My only complaint with this outcome was that Victoria is a rookie and a senior, so I was left wondering "what could have been," if we had recruited her earlier! (alas). But PG was not finished...
Representing the People's Republic of China in the highly competitive Security Council, senior Kate Krawcheck was awarded a Distinguished Delegate award (2nd place) for the second year in a row. This is a committee that never rests and most often consists of the schools' most advanced competitors, and Katie was not just distinguished, but outstanding.
The following students also received Honorable Mentions for their strong participation and diplomacy: Cooper Jennings and Thomas Allen (of Australia in the GA), Reilly Morrow (of Japan in the HRC), Esther Adelson (of China in the HRC), Oliver Boyd (of Azerbaijan in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), and Daniel Nirenblatt (of Central African Republic in the African Union). Note this was Esther's, Oliver's, and Daniel's first Model UN conference.
In addition, our students' preparation in advance of the conference was validated by four of our resolutions being selected (out of 15) for the first day of debate in the GA, and three of our resolutions selected (out of 16) for the second day of debate. These selections are a tribute to our students' writing and research skills. The authors of these resolutions included Mari Gillum and Christopher Hunsicker (of Ecuador), Jacob Gregory and Matthew Adelman (of Antigua and Barbuda), Anna Lehman and Sophie Levenson (of Botswana), and Will and Ballard (of China). Will and Ballard wrote ten resolutions (one for every topic), and succeeded in advancing four resolutions to the conference docket sheet.
We had our largest delegation in the program's history with 33 students attending this conference, which required a third breadbox bus (the universal sign of an advancing student program), and Allie Swiger drove it with the aplomb expected of a veteran volleyball coach.
We say goodbye to many seniors this year: Will, Katie, Mari, and Christopher started as freshmen and have been dependent leaders every step of the way. We also thank Ballard, Jacob, Thomas, Cooper, Reilly, Victoria, Caroline Vail, Jackson Donaldson, Ben AvRutick, Walker Vincent, Robbie Prentice, and Jake MacDonald for their leadership.
Middle School students compete in spelling bee tournaments with public and private schools across South Carolina and the Southeast. In 2019, Rivers Clair '25 was named the 2019 6th Grade South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) State Spelling Bee Champion. She bested 15 other students at Wiliamsburg Academy in Kingstree, SC, to claim the title. Rivers spelled all of the following words correctly: fickle, brackish, sputnik, altar, airy, gymnasium, analogy, aul, koan, agog, sitzmark, carcinogen, and chromosome. At the SCISA Spelling Bee this year, Porter-Gaud captured 2nd place in the overall team competition.