McCarthy Middle School team takes Regional Knowledge Bowl crown

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (May 23, 2024) – For the second year in a row, McCarthy Middle School’s Knowledge Bowl team hoisted the championship trophy during the Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl Tournament, which was held May 6-7.

This year, six districts – Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Lowell, Tewksbury and Tyngsboro – competed in the tournament, each sending one 10-member team of students in grades 5-8 to the preliminaries on May 6.

The subjects covered included English, mathematics, social studies, science, the arts and current events.

Each match consisted of a math round, a toss-up round, current events, a toss-up plus bonus round and a speed round.

The winning team from each preliminary match, along with the wild card (highest-scoring second-place team) moved onto the finals on May 7.

In the end, Chelmsford was victorious.

“We’ve been reigning champions for two years now,” said eighth grade team member Arin Roy.

Prior to the competition, for which the McCarthy team was given short notice, the members only had time for three practice sessions.

Coaches for the McCarthy Knowledge Bowl team are social sciences teacher Ashley Jean, technology teacher Pamela O’Meara and English teacher Sheila Kish.

Ms. Jean said she’s incredibly proud of the team and what they were able to accomplish with minimal preparation time.

“It’s really cool to see them have confidence up on the stage and see them get to show off academics,” she said. “It is really nice to see academics being highlighted in a competition.”

Ms. Kish said it was exciting being able to see the McCarthy team hoist the trophy after winning the tournament.

“You never know what kind of questions they’re going to get,” she said. “You can practice all these questions and strategies, but it comes down to them at the end of the night.”

As for the few practices they had, Ms. Kish said the coaches went over questions from previous years and discussed current events with the team members.

“We encouraged them to pick up a newspaper,” she said. “Or watch CNN News.”

Evan Kibby, an eighth grader, said he’s been a member of the Knowledge Bowl team for three years.

“I thought it’d be fun to go on stage and answer questions,” he said. “I had a really good time the first year, so I wanted to keep doing it.”

Mr. Roy said he has enjoyed his time competing in Knowledge Bowl, and encourages other students to get involved, especially if they like competition or trivia.

“I’m interested in geography and history in general,” he said. “I’ve been a big fan of ‘Jeopardy’ since I was little, so I thought I’d try it out. … It’s definitely a fun experience, but it can be nail-biting at times.”

Grayson Redding Cooper, a seventh grader, said he enjoys trivia, so being a member of the team made sense to him. And he’s already excited for next year.

“[I’m looking forward to] having more experience and knowing what to expect, practicing more and getting better as a team,” he said. “Confidence is half the battle.”

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit