After a two-year break from competition play, seven middle school teams came together to compete at the Wayne County Public Schools (WCPS) 34th annual Battle of the Books competition. The event was held Friday, March 4, at the Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni Cultural Center with approximately 50 students competing. While under new coaching leadership, Norwayne Middle resumed its championship streak by winning first place. The school had won three years in a row leading up to the pandemic and competition break.
“The past two years have been especially challenging, and I am so proud of all of the students and coaches who have spent much of this school year training for Friday’s competition,” states Christy White, Title IV Enrichment Facilitator. “We would especially like to congratulate the Norwayne Middle team for their success and wish the participating students the very best as they move on to the next level of competition.”
Sponsored by the North Carolina School Library Media Association, Battle of the Books is a quiz bowl type competition, specifically designed for students in grades 6 through 8. Students at participating schools read books from a list established by the state Battle of the Books committee, and then compete to test their knowledge of the books. This year’s book list consisted of 27 titles.
The Norwayne Middle 2021-2022 team consists of Edward Francis, Caroline Jennette, Michael Lewis, Jr., Alanna Mallya, Gabriel Pena, Kaitlyn Ridgle, Josephine Simmons, Josslyn Snyder, and Evelyn Wall. The team was coached by Connie Robinson (Head Coach), Lisa Bailey (Assistant Coach), and Mylene Potter (Assistant Coach).
The Norwayne Middle team will move on to the regional Battle of the Books competition, which will be held virtually on March 22.
The Battle of the Books program is coordinated by the Media Center program at participating schools. Organizers state that Battle of the Books is a great way to motivate students to read and be exposed to quality literature.
Eastern Wayne Middle took second place. Their team consists of Emily Birchum, Janiya Benton, Charlotte Maroney, OnnaLee Smith, and Logan Corbett. The team is coached by Kim York.
Spring Creek Middle took third place. Their team consists of Maresa Diaz, Margo Foucht, Emily Sugg, Emily Tutor, Aiden Wicks, and Hannah Wicks. The team is coached by Wendy Hair (Head Coach), Sarah Ryan (Assistant Coach), and Susan Barwick (Assistant Coach).
The other schools that participated in the competition include: Grantham Middle, Greenwood Middle, Mount Olive Middle, and Wayne School of Engineering.