Four high school students who attend Rochester School for the Deaf on St. Paul Street matched wits with peers from 19 other schools and programs for deaf and hard of hearing high school students in the 2019 Gallaudet University East Regional Academic Bowl competition.
The competition was held March 8-11 at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh. Six of the 20 teams of deaf youth represented New York state.
RSD’s four wins and two losses in match play earned the team a semifinal bid. Rochester’s subsequent loss to Maryland School for the Deaf put the team in contention for third of fourth place against New York’s Lexington School for the Deaf. RSD lost to Lexington in earlier match play. Rochester dominated the match to earn third place and a coveted invitation to participate in the Academic Bowl Nationals on April 11-15 at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Teammates on the RSD Academic Bowl include Hunter Williams, of Pine City, Chemung County; Courtney Gentzke, of Caledonia, Livingston County; Emma Kane, of Brighton; and Ben Radez, of Valatie, Columbia County.
The team is coached by RSD Director of Student Life Programs Carrie Fisher, of Pittsford, and Physical Education and Health Teacher Scott Lipitz, of Gates.
In addition to securing third place, RSD student Ben Radez earned one of six All-Star awards. The award recognizes academic bowl competitors who display good all-around knowledge, great leadership, sportsmanship, and fellowship.
In 2020, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, in Buffalo, Erie County, will host the East Regional Academic Bowl.