The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America
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News and Notes
Calendar: Academic Games Events
2016-17 AGLOA Tournament CouncilThe Tournament Council consists of representatives of the various states involved in Academic Games who make decisions concerning the national tournament.
For the four representatives whose terms end this year, regions must schedule a caucus of the moderators/coaches from their area during Nationals to reelect their representative to another three-year term or elect a replacement.
Down Memory Lane
I Think, Therefore … I Play: Celebrating 50 Years of Academic Games, Stu White’s magnificent compilation of stories, includes this one.
While much of the Academic Games population was in the South, the Midwest, and the East Coast, there wasn’t much of a presence west of Michigan. That is until one of the former players from Ann Arbor, MI, brought Academic Games to St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado.
Bruce Griffith introduced St. Vrain to AGLOA in 2004 after teaching a couple of the games to Michelle Frey, a teacher in the district’s Gifted and Talented Department. Bruce’s children were in elementary school in the district and he was interested in enriching the classroom learning for students and Michelle started working with other Gifted teachers in the district.
The first local tournament was between two elementary schools. The second year, two more schools joined the competition. By the fourth year, Bruce Stout (GT Coordinator for the district at the time) organized an official Elementary tournament and five schools attended. Each year thereafter, more schools participated and the annual event grew. Soon Equations replaced the district’s prior math contest. Teaching the games by incorporating them into class curriculums increased. Students prepared every year in anticipation of participating and competing in the local tournament.
After years of playing, Bruce and Michelle sent teachers Suellen Cooper and Barb Van Winkle to AGLOA’s National Tournament in Orlando. They met with tournament directors to improve their skills and learn to run the local competitions.
The following fall, AGLOA representatives visited Colorado to meet with Bruce, Michelle, and Barb. They offered their support in helping St. Vrain get up to speed to compete in Nationals.
In 2012, St. Vrain had qualified students and attended its first AGLOA National Tournament. The teams began the learning curve of playing at a national level. Thereafter, with the knowledge and experience gained, students continued to prepare for the next tournament.
In 2014, its third year competing at Nationals, Colorado earned its first awards. One fifth-grader, Carter Kruse, earned a perfect score in Equations. “AGLOA has provided me with enriching, amazing experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” Carter said.
Along with that, one of the Elementary teams earned second in their section in Equations. These accomplishments encouraged the teams and, subsequently, drew more students’ attention within the district to the excitement of the games, which continues today, from Bruce’s initial effort.