Viera academic team plays high school version of ‘Jeopardy’

Members of the Viera High School Academic Team are Kayla Beigh, left, Maya Sallade, Esther Kap, Christy Anasa, Olivia Peters, Erek Dibbern, Sid Antoine, Jared Jones, Rayvan Jamil and Rachel Moore. Sophia Grieko is not pictured.


It’s a little bit like the game show “Jeopardy” … the high school advanced placement class version.

Every Monday, 11 members of the Viera High School Academic Team gather at the Brevard Public Schools office complex to square off with students from another school in a quiz-like game that tests their knowledge of various subjects.

“Some people like to call it, ‘Quiz Bowl,’ ” Viera High senior Olivia Peters said. “We get together with a bunch of different schools and we go against each other to answer some challenging questions from AP classes. It’s almost like ‘Jeopardy’ except you don’t choose (the category). They kind of just ask a question and you have to buzz in and answer it.”

Peters is one of 11 students on this year’s academic team.

The others are seniors Kayla Beigh; Maya Sallade; Erek Dibbern; Sid Antoine; Jared Jones; Rayyan Jamil; Rachel More and Sophia Grieko along with juniors Esther Kao and Christy Anasa.

“I put the team together every year,” said Ron Peters, who teaches AP Literature and English Honors 3 at Viera.

“My invitations are based on, really, their success in their AP classes. We do have two juniors this year, but it’s almost always seniors because they’ve taken the material. As Olivia mentioned, these questions come from their advanced placement classes.

“So, it may seem like ‘Jeopardy’ but it’s really more like multiple choice questions from the AP exams. There could be something from psychology, or government or English or physics or chemistry. It’s not a fun category like, ‘Movies that begin with Z’ or something like that. They’re all academic questions.”

Dibbern, who has been one of Viera’s best competitors this season, said he likes the challenge.

“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s a good chance to get to show what you know. I’ve always liked ‘Jeopardy’ type trivia. It’s fun to pick stuff up and randomly get answers sometimes.”

There are different point-value questions, ranging from 5 to 15 points. Teams lose points for wrong answers.

One of the strengths of this year’s group has been its ability to handle the team questions. For someone like Olivia Peters, who has committed to playing softball at Carleton College, having experience being part of a team can pay off.

“For a lot of questions, it’s not right away that you know the answer,” she said. “You have to work through it. You can be like, ‘Oh, I know half of this one. Do you know the other half?’ ”

The Hawks were ranked fifth in the county in the regular season, but that’s not the ultimate goal.

The district tournament is scheduled for Nov. 15, after which an eight-person All-Star team will be selected.

“They’re very competitive,” Ron Peters said. “They want Viera to be No. 1, but really what we want is to get some of our kids placed on that All-Star team that’s going to compete for Brevard County. They’re going to represent Brevard County in April at the Governor’s Cup. That’s the big one.”