Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908



November 16, 2017

Student Journalism/For the Pine Bluffs Post

Wyoming Academic Challenge

What is WAC? The Wyoming Academic Challenge (WAC) is a trivia-based quiz bowl competition between high schools in Wyoming. Community colleges across Wyoming take turns hosting competitions each month and scholarships, plaques, and medals are awarded to the highest scoring teams. Eric Kestner introduced WAC to Pine Bluffs High School at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. When Kestner was in high school he was a competitor and he said, "I remembered how much fun I had competing and wanted to offer that experience to others." Kestner has competed and coached in the program, and starting this year he has taken on the role of directing it.

WAC was founded in 1996 by John Tate, a history teacher from Basin, Wyoming. Tate was the state director of the program until this year, when he retired and Kestner took over. Kestner said that, "I understood how hard it would be to start a program like this from the ground up, so I volunteered to keep this one running smoothly." As the new state director, Kestner has worked to get the word out about WAC by getting a logo for the program and by starting a website. The website has the schedule for this year, frequently asked questions, pictures, and results from the meets. (To learn more about WAC, go to the website Kestner said that coordinating the program and keeping in touch with the teams, volunteers, and hosts can be challenging, but he is hopeful that it will get easier after his first year.

As challenging as it can be, Kestner's new state director role hasn't taken any of his focus off of coaching the Pine Bluffs High School WAC team. The team practices trivia in the mornings before school and also after school on Mondays. Christiana Yeley-Ritter, a new member this year said, "My favorite part about WAC is being able to expand my intelligence, while meeting new people and making friends." The students involved in WAC agree that it is a fun way to exercise academic skill. Kestner hopes the members of his team are able to grow as players and in confidence as the year progresses.


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