AGazine, July 2017

The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America

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News and Notes

Calendar of Events



AGLOA Board Meeting and Tournament Council Meeting – Knoxville TN



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Big Meeting in Knoxville

Each summer, the AGLOA Board of Directors meets at the site of the following year’s national tournament.

  • The last few years, the meeting has included several members of the Tournament Council on a rotating basis.
  • This year, for the first time, the entire Tournament Council will meet with the Board of Directors.
  • The meetings are following the Board’s plan to shift more responsibilities to the Tournament Council.
  • In the words of Rod Beard, the AGLOA Tournament Director, the purpose of the meeting is “to set the course for AGLOA and plan next year’s Nationals.”
  • The Board and Tournament Council members will meet with representatives of Convention and Visitors Bureau, who will take the group through the Knoxville Convention Center where all activities take place and the hotels that will be used. Since many of the Bureau and hotel personnel may be new since AGLOA conducted its 2014 National Tournament in Knoxville, the meeting will provide an opportunity to acquaint the newcomers with our procedures and requirements.


Outstanding Senior: Martha Baldwin

Congratulations to Martha Baldwin of Jackson, Michigan for winning an Outstanding Senior Award at the 2017 AGLOA National Tournament in Wheeling, West Virginia. Martha began playing Academic Games in 6th grade. She tied for 3rd in Jackson Public School history by winning seven championships at the Michigan League of Academic Games Super Tournaments. She won an MLAG Outstanding Senior Award as well as the national award. Martha’s coach, Keith Richards, wrote the following in her nomination.

Martha is the first player I have ever nominated for an Outstanding Senior award in my eleven years of coaching. If I were to rank all the players in overall playing ability amongst all games, she would be third. However, in terms of dedication to Academic Games and especially the Jackson AG Program, she is hands down number one!

I have depended on her since she started as a sixth grader to help me in all aspects of coaching. She is the one who has spent countless hours helping me organizing games and materials. She is the one that I have repeatedly asked to work with new players, struggling players, and players who everyone else struggles to get along with. She is the one who motivates all the other players to do the work necessary to become an elite team. As a high schooler, she has volunteered more than any of my former players to work with the younger teams including helping me with two summer camps.

The Jackson High School Program is a student-centered program. Players are expected to set up practices, recruit and train new players, learn and practice new strategies, etc. No player has had a bigger role in this over the last four years for JHS than Martha. She has had a huge role in getting players ready for the state and national tournaments each year and has been instrumental to JHS success over the past three years, including helping the Junior team win a Super Tournament Championship last year in addition to the two that her Senior team won.

However, it is this year as the Senior captain, that she has been most productive. She schedules all the team’s practices, doing her best to find times that fit in with as many complex schedules as possible. Several of the practices she has hosted at her house, including one that she made pancakes for the team. She constantly checks on the needs and morale of each player on the JHS team. She has kept students informed of important due dates, when and where to meet the bus for regional tournaments using a texting app. She scheduled the team photo for the yearbook, the first in many years. She has set up a website for sharing study materials and playing strategies. She has helped set up tryouts to determine the players on the first and second teams for both Junior and Senior levels for the Super Tournament.

Martha is truly an Outstanding Senior and has been an invaluable member of the JPS program for all seven years that she has participated. Our program has been incredibly blessed to have her, and she is a testament to the amazing students who participate in Academic Games.

Keith also contributed this anecdote to illustrate Martha’s commitment to Academic Games.

Martha has always had a knack for being able to compete on the highest level while still making friends with the other competitors. In the 7th grade, Martha’s first time going to playoffs at Nationals, we had to face a rival school from Michigan. On that team, there was a player of great skill who also had a penchant for using gamesmanship to distract her opponents while playing. Martha amazed her own teammates because she was able to play against that player while still being able to be friendly towards her opponent. At that time, our team mostly kept to themselves. Since then, I have seen a dramatic change in how our team interacts with other teams. That was never more obvious than at last year’s award ceremony where our team was cheering and congratulating all the award winners from other teams. All our players were friendly with seemingly all of the other players. I have no doubt that Martha’s leadership has led to the shift in her teammate’s attitudes.


Outstanding Educator: Antonio Johnson

Antonio Johnson of Detroit, Michigan, won an Outstanding Educator award at the 2017 AGLOA National Tournament. Antonio has been involved in Academic Games for 21 years as a player and coach and attended 12 national tournaments. He coaches Equations, On-Sets, WFF’N Proof, Propaganda, Current Events, and LinguiSHTIK at Cass Technical High School. He also readily shares his knowledge with students from many other schools. He is an MLAG assistant executive director, a member of the steering committee, and webmaster. He runs online practices and started a chat group that shares strategies. He is also the statistician for the high school division. It’s no wonder that Antonio won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MLAG Super Tournament.

Antonio posted this on his Facebook page: No matter what we do in our lives, we will never forget Academic Games. It helped us grow as students and now the lessons are helping us grow as adults.

One of Antonio’s former students, Julio Morales, wrote this in his nomination.

I have known Mr. Johnson since my freshman year of high school. He has always pushed me to become more than what I am. Anytime I had a question at 2 a.m. whether it’s about Academic Games or a problem in my homework, he is always willing to help. Even today when I’m attending college, he is always willing to help. Any questions I have he always answers to the best of his abilities and if he’s not sure, he points me in the right direction. He is a great mentor, a great friend, and someone pleasant to be around. He is constantly working on ways to improve our local tournaments whether it’s by going to different schools and introducing the program or going to a former school and volunteering his time to work with kids. He’s one of the most respected judges in our local tournament.


Down Memory Lane

Some Academic Games leagues that enjoyed just a brief existence, nevertheless, made an impact at the national tournament.

  • 1968: Oakland Park FL won the new Elementary Division sweepstakes crown.
  • 1974: A team from Dexter MI won the Overall Mathematics championship in Elementary Division.
  • 1977: The Galveston TX team won two Elementary game championships.
  • 1980: Grand Blanc MI won the Middle Overall Social Studies crown.

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