Locals competing in state’s first ‘High School Quiz Show’

Locals competing in state’s first ‘High School Quiz Show’

Lincoln team members, Alexa Labossiere, Hannah Leopold-Brandt, Rachelle Bousquet and Julia Heroux applaud after they were introduced. A team from Lincoln High School competed against Classical High School in the quarterfinal match of the “High School Quiz Show: Rhode Island,” on Saturday, Nov. 11. The program will air in March and is based on a similar program in Massachusetts. (Breeze photos by Robert Emerson)

Rhode Island PBS is hosting its first “High School Quiz Show.” The show, a popular quiz show that’s seen success in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, is a team-based competition taking place at the Rhode Island PBS studio.

The show will air over seven weeks on PBS in 2018.

The PBS Rhode Island station announced the start of “High School Quiz Show: Rhode Island” in August, and the first 24 teams to register were able to participate in the qualifying quiz on Super Sunday, Oct. 15. The top eight teams on Super Sunday passed through to the taped part of the competition, which took place Nov. 11-12.

Two of the qualifying teams are local schools Lincoln High School in Lincoln and Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket.

According to the “Quiz Show” page on the PBS website, the teams are made up of a maximum of eight people with a maximum of four primary team members, two alternates, and up to two coaches. The Mount Saint Charles Academy coach is Jill Torres, a Spanish teacher at the academy, and the coach for Lincoln High School is Ron Almeida, a social studies teacher at LHS.

Many students wanted to be a part of the team, Torres said. In order to select the team members, Torres said students had to answer written questions to make the team. The top five students to score the highest made up the team, she said. At LHS, the students are all part of the National Honor Society.

Alexa Labossiere, an LHS senior and team member, said she had seen episodes of the Massachusetts version of the show, which is in its ninth season. She said that when she heard the show was coming to Rhode Island, she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the team.

“I’m a big trivia fan. Fun facts are my thing,” she said. “I’ve watched the ‘High School Quiz Show’ before, and it’s one of those things that I’ve always wished that I could have been in.”

Almeida said students on the LHS team work well together because everyone has knowledge in different topics.

“I think everyone has different strengths that they’re bringing to the team,” he said. “Everyone brings their strengths to it and so far, it’s worked for us.”

Labossiere said that on Super Sunday, the teams were asked a variety of questions and that they will be asked a variety of questions during competition weekend.

“We had everything from spelling, which kind of tripped me up a little bit, to math, to pop culture, literature, geography, history,” she said. “It’s really a little bit of everything. Our answers were everything from Taylor Swift to the Mercator projection.”

Matthew Melnychuk, a senior at Mount Saint Charles Academy, said he has been practicing with his other team members in hopes of winning the upcoming competition.

“We have some practices where we watch the past quiz shows, compete against one another answering the other questions because it’s the same type of show as the Massachusetts show has been,” Melnychuk said.

The “High School Quiz Show” is a great opportunity for the students because it will help them to compete with other schools academically, but it will also be a learning experience for the students, Torres said.

John O’Hurley, television and Broadway actor, will host the show. Lincoln High School will first compete with Classical High School from Providence, and Mount St. Charles will compete with La Salle Academy for the next spot in the bracket-format competition.

Parents Kelly and Chris Labossiere were in the audience to cheer on their daughter Alexa, a member of the Lincoln team.
Providence College graduate and High School Quiz Show Rhode Island host TV personality John O’Hurley during a break in the taping.
From left, Rachelle Bousquet, Hannah Leopold-Brandt and Julia Heroux wave at the studio audience through closed glass doors before the taping began.