To the editor:
Question: Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains, is in what U.S. state? But I am getting ahead of myself.
We moved here from Riverside, Ill., a western suburb of Chicago, 12 years ago.
Our eldest son Aedan started first grade at Rockport Elementary School.
Flash forward 12 years, to the evening of June 1, 2012, when Aedan graduated from Rockport High School along with 69 other classmates, many he had known since Miss Padre's first-grade class back in 2000.
The quality of the public education Aedan received was beyond what we could have ever imagined when moving to such a small town 12 years ago.
Aedan's teachers helped form him into the learned, inquisitive young man we are proud to call our son. And all of the knowledge he gained from the Rockport Public Schools coalesced when he earned one of the four spots on the Rockport High School Team for WGBH's "High School Quiz Show."
Led by coaches Martha Cooney and Neal Dineen (both Rockport High School history teachers), Aedan, along with senior O'Malley Bach, junior Evan Razdan, phenom freshman Corey Silver and alternate senior Ben Tuck, their first match was against Somerville, they won 380-275. Their next match was with Acton-Boxborough, and not only did they win 630-440, they had the highest score of the entire season.
Then, on Super Bowl Sunday, the Rockport team made their way to the semi-finals. They took on the defending champions from Hamilton-Wehnam. Their team was also led by a phenom, a senior named Chris. Corey had met his match.
Rockport trailed (185 points at one point) until the last 90 seconds of the game: the lightning round. The score was Hamiliton-Wenham 395, Rockport 255. Then, with 14 seconds left on the clock, the score was Hamiliton-Wenham 495, Rockport 435.
Billy Costa, Q: "Who put Cleopatra back to the Eygptian throne as a Roman ally?"¬ù
Corey, A: "Julius Casear."
The collective heart rate of the studio audience was palpable.
Ten seconds left on the clock; Hamiliton-Wenham 495, Rockport 455.
Billy Costa, Q: "What Russian composer premiered the 'Rite of Spring?'"
Corey, A: Stravinsky.
Five seconds left; Hamilton-Wenham 495, Rockport 475.
Billy Costa, Q: "What is the tallest mountain in Japan?"
Corey, Q: Mount Fuji.
Two seconds left on the clock; Hamiliton-Wenham 495, Rockport 495!
At the bell, the crowd went crazy, the Hamiliton-Wenham team looked stunned, the Rockport team elated. Billy Costa dramatically slumped in his podium. Wow! We had a tiebreaker for the first time on Quiz Show!
The tie breaker was the question I started with: "North Carolina," said Chris.
He was right. And though Rockport High School team technically lost, they had really won so much for such a little school.
Thanks to all the teachers of the Rockport Public Schools for doing such a commendable job — and congratulations to the Class of 2012!
Seania McCarthy and Dan Lampert