Staff Writer

The Skagway News

Coach Cody Burnham led Skagway students into their first Battle of the Books competition.

“I have coached teams across Alaska and I have found that it is a great opportunity for students who excel in reading and comprehension to challenge themselves and receive recognition,” he said.

The team got a late start this year, but typically books titles are finalized for ordering at book stores on Sept. 15 each year. Practices start around the beginning of October. 

Each grade level is given 10-12 books to read as a team and then they compete in a game show type competition where they answer questions with the name and author of the correct book. A round consists of two battles of 16 questions each. The competition consists of three rounds, the top 12 scoring teams move on to the second round of competition and the top four scoring teams qualify for the last round.

The state competition was Feb. 14 -17 with each day dedicated to a grade-level team competition: 3rd/4th grade, 5th/6th grade, 7th/8th grade and 9th-12th grade.  Due to Skagway School’s small size, some 6th graders competed on the 7th/8th grade team and two 7th graders competed on the high school team.

“Assistant Coach Kortney Rupprecht and I are so very proud of the teams. They were competing in an activity that was new to them against big districts who have district competitions to determine their very best teams to send to the state level,” Burnham said. 

The 3rd/4th and 5th/6th grade teams both came in 24th place in their respective brackets. The 7th/8th grade team came in 15th place, and the high school team, which qualified for the second round of competition, came in 11th place overall. 

Team members include: 3rd/4th Grade – Fable Wallace, Lincoln Watson-Rivest, Oscar Nelson; 5th/6th Grade – Luna Hischer, Chloe Harris, Zuma Flores; 7th/8th Grade – Arthur Aribam, Logan Rupprecht, Sam Munson; 9th-12th Grade: Mina Yee, Ryder Calver, Mali Harris