Penncrest High School wins national Hi-Q title

The winning Penncrest team includes (back) Faculty Advisor Heather Ludwig, Raman Ishwar, Ryan Shah, Schafer Hudson Ortyn, Michael Murphy, Andrew Bernstein, (front) Samantha Daugherty, Abigail Pearse, Charlie Frindt, Kelly Long and Julianna Bakker. Delaware County Council presented a resolution commending Penncrest at their April 15 public meeting.

Delco Hi-Q champs Penncrest High School has emerged victoriously in the 2015 National Hi-Q contest. The Lions competed via video conference with three other championship teams across the country. They included defending national champions Menominee Michigan High School, WI; McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, AL; and Arlington High School, WA.

The coast-to-coast contest streamed live the morning of April 16 from the Delaware County Intermediate Unit in Morton and featured local quizmaster Tom McCarthy. Penncrest started strong and held the lead throughout the competition, picking up bonus points and four points for correctly answering the toss-up sports question. McGill-Toolen also answered correctly the toss-up sports question. All four teams showed academic prowess in the current events category, but none was able to crack the team choice toss-up question.

Penncrest fielded a well-rounded team, showing strength in history, science, literature and art, answering most questions correctly on their first try, earning a total of 55 points to win the match. Final scores: Penncrest 55; McGill-Toolen 35; Menominee-Michigan 32; Arlington 28.

This is the fourth time that Hi-Q teams have met in a National Competition. The first time was in 1981 when teams from around the country traveled to Delaware County for an in-person tournament. The latest technology now allows teams to compete against each other without the need to travel.

Penncrest will receive special recognition, April 30, at the annual Partners in Education Celebration, where all 21 Delco Hi-Q teams will be present. Also being honored during the region’s premier academic recognition event is the All-Delco Hi-Q Team, comprised of outstanding members of each team chosen by the team’s faculty advisor.

Delco Hi-Q is a partnership between Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) and Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Foundation. Veteran actor Tom McCarthy is Quizmaster, FMFCU Vice President Rick Durante serves as Director, FMFCU Community Education Manager Karen Hassett is Hi-Q Coordinator, and DCIU’s Dave Bramble is the production engineer.

In addition to support from participating schools, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union and the Wilbur C. and Betty Lea Henderson Foundation are the primary corporate sponsors. Additional support comes from longtime sponsor Kimberly-Clark Chester Operations and the Delaware County Daily Times.

Donations to Delco Hi-Q and all Partners in Education programs are appreciated and can be submitted online at

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