Principal Keith Ball, who will captain the teacher team, said his bet is on the students — Etowah’s nationally ranked Academic Bowl Team — to take the win.
“We’re gonna get crushed,” Ball joked. “There’s no doubt.”
Hosted by the Etowah High School Foundation, the Academic “Brain Drain” Bowl will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. Admission is open to the public and costs $3 for adults and $2 for students.
Proceeds will go toward the conversion of classrooms at Chapman Intermediate School to classrooms and laboratories that will be used to teach high school-level STEM courses. The renovations will begin after Chapman is incorporated into Etowah’s campus, which will occur after the opening of the replacement E.T. Booth Middle School.
Ball, a former social studies teacher, said the students on the team represent the top of their class. He lauded event organizer Valerie Johnson for coming up with the idea to show off the students’ smarts while raising money for the school.
“I’ve never done anything like this at all six high schools I’ve been at,” Ball said. “Hopefully this is something we can do every year.”
Serving as master of ceremonies is Dr. Vijay Purugulla, physical science teacher at Etowah. Kenneth Owen, supervisor of internal audits, grants, accounting and budgets for CCSD will be the moderator.
Guest judges include Dr. Brian Hightower, assistant superintendent of school operations with Cherokee County School District and the two newly elected legislative officials representing the Etowah school zone, State Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and State Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock).
The teacher team includes current and former teachers of the Academic Bowl team, including: Brian Heglund, Mystic Henderson, Ana Petit, Joshua Saye, Mary Shell, Coach Buddy Walker, Kevin Wall and Dr. Wright Vermilya.
Etowah’s Academic Bowl team, ranked as one of the top 20 academic bowl teams in the nation, is coached by English teacher Christina Hammonds and led by seniors Duncan Morgan, Dylan Morgan and Lucas Read.
The Academic Bowl team has been invited to compete in the state and national competitions in March and May and recently won a competition at Centennial High School.
But subject matter is not only limited to academics — some questions will also include trivia, pop culture and current events.
“The trivia part is where we plan to shine,” Ball said of the teacher team. “We’re all very competitive, but of course it’s going to be fun.”
The Etowah Foundation is also seeking team sponsors. The team with the most sponsorships will receive a 100 point bonus at the end of the evening.
Sponsorships can be paid in any amount and can be made by contacting event organizer Valerie Johnson at email@example.com or on the Etowah Foundation website, etowahfoun-dation.weebly.com. Donations made before Thursday, Feb. 28 will be recognized in the event program.