2022 Knowledge Bowl Team

No one expected the tiny town of Ridgefield to bring home the National Knowledge Bowl Championship trophy—but last year they did, defeating public and private schools from across the country in an incredible come-from-behind win. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions meant they had to compete online. This year, the students’ dream of attending national competitions in person for the first time is becoming a reality thanks to the generosity of the Ridgefield community. 

This week, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation (RPSF) is helping the Knowledge Bowl team achieve their goal with a matching grant fund campaign. The money raised will help send the team to Atlanta in May to compete in the National Quiz Bowl competition. 

Attending national competitions is expensive. By helping the team cover costs for registration, travel, hotel, and food, the RPSF grant will allow students from all economic backgrounds to compete. This week, the foundation matched up to $5,000 in donations dollar-for-dollar, and after receiving many generous donations (including $1,500 from the Ridgefield Lions Club), this threshold has already been reached! 

Coach David Jacobson has built the Knowledge Bowl program into what he hopes is a generational powerhouse. Because the Ridgefield Knowledge Bowl program starts in middle school, the students on the high school team have already had years of practice. 

“The pride in our students in this community is out of this world, and it will be an amazing feat for our students to return to the competition and defend their title,” said Ian Mansfield, View Ridge Middle School principal. “Our team is still excelling locally and scoring significantly higher than all other teams regardless of classification. This local support will enable them to continue their journey!”

Knowledge Bowl questions are challenging. The event is similar to Jeopardy, with rapid-fire questions across a broad range of subjects. The national Quiz Bowl competition in Atlanta follows a similar format, but with a different study strategy. Coach Jacobson believes the Ridgefield team can compete well at either competition at the national level. 

“They are super smart kids, and they’ve worked hard to get where they are,” Jacobson said. “You never know what will happen at these competitions, but they have a winning record again this year, and I think their chances are as good as any other team at nationals.” 

As small-town public school underdogs, these incredibly bright students have been defying the odds to defeat well-funded, academically focused schools from across the country. Our Knowledge Bowl teams are letting the world know about the premier quality education in Ridgefield, Washington.

“We are so grateful for the support our defending champs have received this week,” said Christen Palmer, Ridgefield High School’s principal. “The team’s hard work, dedication, and intense preparation to compete on the national stage fills us with so much Spudder pride!”

While the $5,000 match goal has already been met, the fundraiser is still accepting donations through Saturday, February 11. All funds raised will support future Knowledge Bowl program needs. To donate, visit ridgefieldpsf.org/donate and click on the Donate button.