Editor’s note: When I attended the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) convention in March, one of the big topics of discussion was the SIPA Quiz Bowl. JEA Mentor Marilyn Chapman is the moderator for the event. The event is such a success that JEA Board member Brenda Gorsuch proposed holding a JEA Quiz Bowl at conventions. The first JEA Quiz Bowl was last fall in San Antonio. I asked Marilyn to talk about her involvement with the Quiz Bowl.


SIPA Quiz Bowl moderator Marilyn Chapman posed with the Steinbrenner High School (Lutz, Fla.) winning team. The team dressed in Ninja robes for the competition.

by Marilyn Chapman
South Carolina Mentor

I have been working with the SIPA Quiz Bowl–creating questions, giving the qualifying test, establishing the set up for the matches and moderating for 10+ years.

North Carolina JEA Mentor Martha Rothwell always helps with the SIPA Quiz Bowl.
She has been Doorkeeper between matches many times. She will help with the JEA Quiz Bowl in San Francisco as well.

I started my involvement many years ago with Quiz Bowl at the high school where I
formerly taught. That led to moderating matches at the annual Pee Dee Tournament held at Francis Marion University. I find it so stimulating to work with such bright, energetic student journalists.

One thing that wows me is how quickly students can anticipate a question and buzz in with the correct answer after hearing only a few words of the question. Knowing the Dow Jones average from the day before is phenomenal to me as well.

At SIPA, it is always a treat to see how some teams will dress — from just classroom wear, clown costumes, formal wear, matching  T-shirts and crazy wigs to the Ninja robes that Steinbrenner High School wore. It’s an entertaining way for the teams to show their spirit for the competition.


In San Francisco, the Qualifying Test for the J Quiz Bowl will be on Friday, April 26, at 8 a.m. in Salons 13-15, Lower B-2. The competition will be Saturday morning at 8 a.m. in Pacific H on the 4th floor. Those who are interested can sign up on the JEA/NSPA convention registration form.