AGazine, January 2015

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

News & Notes Outstanding Senior Outstanding Educator Down Memory Lane Past AGazines


News and Notes

Larry Liss Update

Earlier this month, AGLOA Tournament Manager Larry Liss suffered a bleeding stroke, similar to but not as serious as the one he had several years ago. During his stay in the hospital, tests revealed a protein disorder in his blood that makes him susceptible to more strokes. He needs to contains his stress level which affects his blood pressure, quite a challenge with the 50th Anniversary national tournament looming. His friends in the Palm Beach Academic Games League will assist him for local as well as national tasks, and other members of the AGLOA Board and Tournament Council will pick up the slack as well.

Please join Larry’s legion of friends and admirers in praying for his full recovery.

Upcoming Events


Preliminary National Tournament Registration Form Due

20 New Orleans Academic Games League Presidents Tournament Jr/Sr #25-44
21 NOAGL Presidents Tournament El/Mid #35-44
22 Beaver County (PA) AG League World Events Tournament – all divisions
23 Jefferson Parish (LA) Mid/Jr/Sr Equations Tournament
26 New Orleans Academic Games League Awards Ceremony for Individual Top Scorers @ National World War II Museum
27 Indian River County (FL) Social Studies Tournament (Presidents 25-34, Current Events)

Western Pennsylvania Academic Games League LinguiSHTIK Tournament @ Heinz History Center (snow date 1/29)

Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV (PA) World Events Tournament All Divs., Slippery Rock U.
3 Indian River County (FL) Social Studies Tournament (Presidents 35-44, Lightning Round)
7 Michigan League of Academic Games Regional Tournaments – El/Mid only
11 Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV (PA) Equations Tournament Mid/Jr/Sr, Slippery Rock U.
14 MLAG Regional Tournaments – Jr/Sr only

To see all of our of upcoming events, visit our Calendar page. If your league’s events are not listed, please send us your schedule.


Outstanding Senior: Marlon Tanner

Marlon Tanner from Laurel Junior/Senior High School in Pennsylvania began playing Academic Games in 4th grade. He played all six games at the local tournaments of the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV league but settled on four for each Nationals. He won individual awards and contributed to team victories primarily in Equations and Propaganda. But, like all Outstanding Senior Award winners, he is more than just a top notch player.

Here are excerpts from his nomination by his coach, Toni Schooley, at the 2014 Nationals.

Marlon is an excellent role model for both his peers and the younger students. He has volunteered to help his peers understand the concepts and logistics of the games. He has also worked at length with our elementary students. Marlon has assisted with practices held after school and with several of our local districts. Most importantly to me this year, while I was on my sabbatical, Marlon stepped up to assist those teachers assigned the task and to keep the program going.

Having a name that is not common, Marlon has dealt with several “aliases.” At Nationals, he has often been called “Marion.” At our local league, where he is well liked and respected, students from Hermitage decided to name their team “Happy Birthday Marlin Tanner.” I’m not sure they realized that they spelled it incorrectly by referencing the fish. However, I would have to agree that, just like the fish, Marlon is and has been a very valuable “catch” for our Academic Games league.

Marlon is a highly motivated, energetic student with several AP classes and a stringent schedule. He has been a member of Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America, and President of the National Honor Society chapter. He earned the Presidential Award of Academic Excellence.

2014 Nationals Outstanding Sr - Marlon Tanner


Outstanding Educator: Sandra Wright

2014 Nationals Outstanding Ed - Sandy Wright

Sandra Wright is co-coach of the St. Lawrence Elementary School team from Utica, MI. Here are excerpts from her nomination by someone who knows her quite well, her husband and co-coach, Steve Wright.

This coach has been involved in Academic Games since 1994. Yet, she is not flashy, she has no ego and simply wants to help in any way she can. I am in the Hall of Fame as a coach, and some of my teams have been the greatest in the history of Academic Games. While I have gotten the credit, she has deserved much more recognition than she has received. Since 1994, she has primarily coached the social studies teams, and now she even coaches our students in Propaganda. Her most amazing coaching job may have been in 1998, when we took a bunch of ninth graders to a national tournament and won Junior Sweepstakes by one point – mostly because they won World Events. While the credit for that win goes to the students, the team would not have won World Events – and thus would not have won Sweepstakes – but for this nominee.

Through the years, she not only has worked with our team but also has been an outstanding volunteer for the state and national tournaments. She started as a scorekeeper and has been a reader of the various social studies games at both state and Nationals. For years, she has written World Events and Presidents questions for the national tournament.

For our teams, she has been more than a coach – she has been a mother, a protector, and a teacher, teaching more than just the games, focusing on ethics, character, and what it means to win or lose with poise and class. These life lessons will remain with the students long after the last shake of the last match these students will ever play.

Two years ago, she and I decided to start a team at a new school. I couldn’t do it without her, and she agreed to once again start a new program. She worked with the students at lunch two days a week and on weekends. She gave up both her Christmas break and Spring break to work with the team. She is the primary coach for World Events and Presidents. And it is certain that our team would not exist but for her willingness to work. In the first two years that our school has had an Elementary team, the team has won four state championships in the Social Studies games. More remarkable, in the team’s first year, it came in second in both Presidents and World Events at the national tournament. Last year, the team won both Elementary Presidents and World Events at Nationals, a feat no other Michigan Elementary team had ever accomplished. At this year’s state tournament, our teams won four state championships, all in the Social Studies games.


Down Memory Lane

Here’s some “typical examples from the games played at the Academic Games Olympics” as distributed in 1975.

  1. MR. PRESIDENT: Range 27-37
    He served more than one term as President but did not finish his last term. He was a former loser on a Presidential ticket. His political philosophy and practice was typified by this quote: “The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But, above all, try something.”

  2. EQUATIONS (from a Solution at the 1967 National Tournament)
    Resources: + + – ÷ 0 1 1 2 6 9
    Permitted: * – –
    ÷ 6 2 3
    Goal: 8
    Write a Solution using only one more cube from Resources.

  3. PROPAGANDA Section E (from the 1968 National Tournament)
    This Spring Retreat at the university should come up with some excellent ideas for improving the university. The participants in the retreat are, each of them, the sort of people that can think for themselves.

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