Three Saint Stephen’s students were part of the six-member Manatee County team that finished second in the state at the annual Commissioner’s Academic Challenge, March 31-April 2 in Orlando. Falcons Jackson Nealis, Sophia Berry, and Luke Phommachanh helped Manatee win the Preliminary and Semi-final rounds to advance to the Division I Finals. In the six-team championship round, Manatee ultimately fell short against the eventual winners from Brevard County, 262-233. Polk, Orange, Pinellas and Seminole finished 3-6. You can view the complete results here: https://academic-challenge.org/results/
Since it began in 1986, the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge has been a showcase of Florida’s high school academic excellence. Teams representing school districts throughout the state compete for scholarships and more. Originally started as the Florida Tournament of Academic Excellence by the Polk County Public Schools, the event became the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge when the Florida Department of Education became involved in the early 1990s. Held each spring at Walt Disney World Resort, players answer questions from the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish), physical education, health, and technology. New questions are written each year by educators from high schools throughout the state.