PVHS Students “Go for the Green” at 2022 Scholar Quiz


(from left to right) Matthias Yee, Grant Walther, Sam Malekzadeh and Will Bray listen intently to the next Scholar Quiz question. Their team took home the championship. (Photo by Luka Ardon)

Victoria Nolan, Reporter

Scholar Quiz, Palos Verdes High School’s annual high-intensity trivia battle, is known for inciting scholarly enthusiasm and exciting students with the opportunity to exercise their knowledge through competition. This six-day jeopardy-like event consists of teams of four and promotes academic excellence while firing up students for upcoming testing (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASSP) and Advanced Placement tests). 

PV’s Scholar Quiz began in 2005 after current PV High teacher and Scholar Quiz organizer, Tecia Barton, brought the idea over from the game’s founder, Mira Costa High School. Barton previously attended and taught at Mira Costa and now does an exceptional job at organizing this event for PV students and teachers to enjoy each year. Barton elaborated on the technical details of how Scholar Quiz functions.

“Each team has four players,” Barton said. “At all times a team must be seated at the table with four. Each round is single elimination. By day six we are down to two top teams. During each game, there are at least three individuals commanding the game: reader, judge and score keeper.”

Scholar quiz grills participants on a variety of topics.

“​All areas are quizzed from basic math to complicated mathematical equations, world history (including our own history), language, geography, pop culture, business trends to the arts and of course the sciences,” Barton said. 

“Current events are sprinkled in between and knowing the downlow on the Kardashians sometimes helps.”

The theme of this year’s Scholar Quiz, “Aiming for the Green,” was based on golfing and is a play on words. The encouraging meaning behind it carries the hopes of bumping up the school’s test scores to the “green.”

“The state testing is now grading schools based on a dashboard which is color coded,” librarian Ashley Brockman said. “Blue is the highest color code, next is green, then yellow, orange and red. Our last state scores were in the oranges and yellows which is not where we want to be, and not very reflective of our student body, so we’re trying to aim our goals towards that green area. This is where we got to the color green, and where we thought, ‘let’s bring in golf as our theme this year.’”

In order to be successful in Scholar Quiz, one’s team must be well-rounded and knowledgeable in a variety of topics. The members of this year’s winning team, Team Yee (consisting of junior Grant Walther and seniors Matthias Yee, Sam Malekzadeh, and Will Bray), used a clever strategy to help achieve victory and take home their $1000 prize.

“Our team captain Matthias formed the team based on our different individual strengths so we were each strong in certain categories,” Malekzadeh said. 

“In the start there’s around sixty teams and people gradually got weeded out and so it feels pretty crazy that we actually won considering how much competition we had.”

Barton explained there is a valid intent behind Scholar Quiz.

“Academics can be fun,” Barton said. “Competition isn’t just about PVHS sports but brains as well. It is a great time for scholars to show-off their competitive nature, athletes to show-off their brains, beauties to show-off their brains, and everyone to know they bring some intellectual prowess to the table.”