Keystone School celebrates win after national world affairs contest
The private Keystone School in San Antonio is celebrating its national championship at a competition where high schoolers must know about what's going on in the world.
The team of four students from Keystone's Upper School beat out dozens of other teams from across the country at the Carlos and Malú Alvarez Academic WorldQuest in late April in Washington, D.C.
The team had to study a packet stuffed full of reports and articles on world affairs from global agencies, such as the U.N., the World Bank, NATO, and others to prepare for the 100-question multiple choice contest.
The team divided up the reports and articles among themselves to become experts in different areas and share the competition workload.
There were a lot of weighty world issues. Junior Lorenzo Ruiz named a couple of the topics he focused on for the team.
"Afghanistan, the end of (the) 20 plus years of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, also climate migration, which is an emerging problem that
governments are just beginning to comprehend in its full scale," he said.
Other topics included COVID-19, China, cryptocurrency, and the rise of social media. These are tough, ever-changing topics, even for adults to keep up with.
Freshman Julia Doski said it was her first time on the team. She prepared 400 flash cards and a binder on her topics to study to be ready
for the competition.
"If I missed a question and we lost, by like a point, I would feel like it was my question, even if it wasn't, and I never stop thinking about that moment," Doski said.
They all studied hard, especially, the night before the competition. Junior Andy Ngu was part of the team.
"I kind of crammed the night before the competition, so it was kind of...stressing because I had other exams, upcoming exams
at the time, coming soon," he said.
Ruiz said a lot of the cramming was related to remembering statistics.
"There was one that was how many NATO armed forces members were present in Afghanistan at a given date and then you have to be able to say, whoop it's 140,000 or its 100,000 or something," he said.
The team was led by Senior Jack Dougherty. He explained why it's important not just for adults to learn about the issues confronting the world, but for young people too.
"As the youth generation, which is the next generation of voters, it's fairly important to be able to digest information, which is relevant to our living and existing in maybe a free society, so to speak, I guess," Dougherty said.
With all the reading and studying, they learned a lot about the world we live in. Texas Public Radio asked Ruiz what they think about the overall state of the world today.
"The world is in place," he said. "We talk a lot about the mess the previous generations have left for ours, and you know, learning about the problems our world is facing, learning about policy and the struggles that people confront is the first step for out generation being able to remedy those problems."
The head of Keystone's Upper School Bill Spedding called the team incredibly dedicated, self-disciplined, hardworking, good
representatives of the school and fun to hang out with.
Spedding said the school has a history of victories at the national event as evident from the shiny trophies in the school's stately front office. He credits retired history teacher and former team sponsor Ray Boryczka for getting the winning tradition started.