Students are ‘In the Know’

By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

Photo courtesy of Peggy Cordray
The In the Know team from Central Crossing High School won the championship, which aired on WOSU-TV on May 10. The team members include (left to right) Danny Cordray, Team Advisor Bill Christman, Nazar Momot, Brynn Cunningham, Serina Smith, Skyler Watkins, Haarith Ahmed and Hannah Kinney.

Paul Morrow would have been thrilled to see the Central Crossing High School team win the In the Know championship.

“I think he had a hand in the victory,” said Advisor Bill Christman.

This is Christman’s rookie year as the advisor for the Central Crossing In the Know team. He took over as the team advisor after Morrow, a popular science teacher at the school, died in April 2016 of prostate cancer.

“Paul had so much pride in these students,” said Christman. “It was good to win for him.”

Last year, Morrow and his team finished the In the Know tournament just outside the top eight teams. But this year, they won it all. The show featured 65 high school teams from central and southern Ohio. The final match of the quiz program aired on WOSU-TV on May 10. The Central Crossing team, consisting of seven students, beat the defending champions of Olentangy High School. This is the school’s first win.

“These students work so hard,” said Christman, who is also head of the science department at Central Crossing. “They have spent hours and hours studying. They are always trying to improve.”

The team practices after school starting in the fall and even has matches against Central Crossing teachers. According to Christman, the In the Know team members have beat the teachers three times.

While the team has seven members, only four compete on the WOSU academic quiz show. The four who helped bring home the championship were Nazar Momot, Haarith Ahmed, Serina Smith and senior team captain Danny Cordray.

“Danny really led the team,” said Christman. “He comes from a big trivia family.”

The Central Crossing captain is the son of Richard Cordray, who is director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He also was part of an In the Know championship team from Grove City High School and was a five-time Jeopardy champion.

Danny Cordray’s performance on the WOSU program even impressed the host, Bill Schiffman.

“Once in a decade, we see a kid like Danny,” said Schiffman. “He is genetically gifted and he works really hard.”

Schiffman said Cordray is one of the best he has seen in the past 34 years hosting the show.

“This year, he had the maturity needed to lead,” said Schiffman. “The team has a great bunch of kids.”

In addition to being champions, the school won four $2,000 scholarships to Ohio State University. One of those scholarships went to team member Serina Smith.

“This experience was so rewarding,” said Christman. “The kids worked so hard and this is validation of that hard work.”

While Christman is savoring the team’s victory, he said the students are already planning a repeat performance next year.

“We have had a taste of victory,” said Christman. “Next year, we will be ready to go.”

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