LOWELL — Residents of the city of Lowell and the towns of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury and Tyngsboro can be proud of their middle-school students — and equally so their school departments’ staff and teachers — based on what we saw in this week’s 2017 Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl.
The Bowl, sponsored by The Sun in conjunction with Lowell Public Schools, comes at the end of a long school year.
Students and staff easily could brush off this extra academic endeavor, but instead they totally embrace it with great excitement and enthusiasm.
Clearly the teachers and students really prepare for what has become the Super Bowl of academics in the region.
It is a showplace for the work being done in area public schools.
It also helps to define Greater Lowell as a region of caring communities that values education.
School budgets usually represent the biggest expense in local budgets and ultimately impact the tax rate in every community.
The regional bowl becomes a showplace for everyone to see what a great investment they are making in their local schools.
In the finals, the adults in the audience are stunned when they hear the math questions and even more shocked when they are told all the schools in the championship round — Chelmsford, Billerica and Lowell — got all the answers right.
While it is similar to a sporting event in which the student athletes represent their town, the event gives the communities a chance to showcase educational excellence and sportsmanship.
One middle-school principal said how excited the entire school feels when they make a public-address announcement on how well his team did.
It also gives the students on the academic team a chance to strut around the school that day in the same manner as an athlete who might have won a big basketball game for his school.
While The Sun is the main sponsor, staff from the Lowell Public Schools makes sure the event runs like clockwork.
Thanks to Carolyn Rocheleau, the event’s coordinator; moderator Jim Neary; timekeeper Christine Topjian; and scorekeeper Caitlin Casella for making the two-day event a special occasion for our region.
But this event would not work if the area superintendents did not support it. Most actually showed up or had a representative at the 2017 event, held at Dracut High School’s beautiful Lester Richardson Performing Arts Center.
Thanks too for the local businesses that bought ads in the newspaper’s knowledge bowl section, which showcased every youngster who represented their communities so well.
A special thanks to the Lowell Five, which has been a major contributor to this event since its inception four years ago. This year, Lowell Five’s Jenna Guilbeault volunteered as a judge for both nights of the competition. She presented each student whose team made the finals (30 students in all) with Lowell Five bank books containing initial deposits of $100 for first place, $50…