CALDWELL, NJ – Are you smarter than a middle schooler? On March 28, students from Grover Cleveland Middle School (GCMS), Caldwell, paraded their knowledge of science, geography, math, music, literature, local history and more at the second annual Academic Bowl. This year, the students competed in teams of eight, with representatives from grades six, seven and eight on each team. The teams, aligned with the new pillars of character house structure put in place last November, answered questions in a timed format, earning a point for each correct answer.


House Integrity shows its school spirit    Credit: Christine Corliss

To establish the teams for the school-wide competition, each house competed within itself with students randomly assigned to teams. The winning team from each house then competed at the school-wide competition.

This year, the winning team represented the Courage House; the team included:
Grade 6
  • Ryan Stevens
    Gerry Smith
Grade 7
  • Michelle Polone
    Nick Rivera
    Josh Kohler
Grade 8
  • Victoria Franklin
    Nate Bradley
    Megan West


Winners of Members of Courage House from left are: Ryan Stevens, Nate Bradley,
Nick Rivera, Josh Kohler, Victoria Franklin, Jerry Smith and Megan West  Credits: Christine Corliss 

To compete, the teams sat at tables in front of their house sections, using paper and marker to answer the questions that were projected onto the gym wall.


Questions were projected onto the wall  Credit: Christine Corliss

Each team then received a point for each correct answer. Questions ranged from, “What best-selling book by Margaret Mitchell became an Oscar-winning movie in 1939?” to “How many Disney Resorts are there in the world?


Members of team Respect cheer on their classmates.   
Credit: Christine Corliss

Overall, the competition was very close, with the winning team edging the competition by just a few points. Some of the tie-breaking questions included, “What was the name of the Caldwell Theater that burned down in 1974?” and “What was the original name of Caldwell?

The names and house of the winning team are on a trophy displayed in the school’s award case. The event is planned to be an annual competition.  

For further information on the school's Pillars of Character program, see TAP's article: Grover Cleveland Middle School Students Sorted into Pillars of Character Houses   


Students from Responsibility House cheer on their team   Credit: Christine Corliss

For futher information:
Grover Cleveland Middle School 
Principal: James Brown 
36 Academy Road 
Caldwell, NJ 07006 
973-228-9115
Website