The It’s Academic team from Maurice J. McDonough High School earned the top spot in this year’s local event held Dec. 8 at North Point High School. The team of captain Samuel Chernoff, Nicholas Long, and Julie Perriello scored 350 points to earn first place. This is the first time in 15 years that the It’s Academic team from McDonough has earned first place at the county level.

Coming in second place was the team from La Plata High School with 300 points followed by North Point High School in third place with 210 points.

As the county winner, the McDonough team will compete against Montgomery Blair and Osbourn Park high schools in a regional match set to air on Feb. 26, 2022, on NBC4. The La Plata team will compete in a regional televised match next fall.

Additional students on the McDonough team include Jason Haley (alternate), Skylar Belisle, Jean Hughes, Rebecca White, and Brianna Zust. The coaches of the team are Joanna Hobbs and Mary Howard. As first-place winners, the team receives a $500 scholarship from the Greater Waldorf Jaycees.

All other competing teams receive a $250 scholarship from the Jaycees.

YouTube video

The second-place team includes captain Aastha Patel, William Alcorn, and Eric Valentine. Completing the La Plata Its Academic team is students Emma Vanden Berg (alternate), Michelle Ameyaw, Aubrey Alexander, Isaiah DeLeonard, Mason Hine, Brady Keech, Anne Vazhappilly, and Ashlyn Young. Coaches of the team include Michelle Schoenbauer and John Holmes.

North Point’s team includes captain James Olmstead, Ishaan Chada, and Kelsey Njembu. Completing the North Point Its Academic team are students Liliana Gordon (alternate), Sophia Carpentier, Landon Garrity, Kelsey Garrity, Amauri Hampton, Sydney Lewis, Blythe McCammon, Kaitlyn Sanchez, Nehemiah Strawberry, and Yusra Umer. Team coaches include Deen Stewart and Moriah Rochlinski-Evans.

Competing at the county event for Henry E. Lackey High School was captain Gabriel Revelle, Blake Hancock, and Morgan Martin. Completing the Lackey team are students Cora Murphy (alternate), Jayden Lockley, Bryant Melendres, and John Woodworth. The coach of the team is James Hojnowski.

The competing team from Thomas Stone High School included captain Eryn Huber, Lacey Kyte, and Faith Meadows. Additional students on the Stone team include Emma Truby (alternate) and Kathryn Daniel. The coach of the team is Nancy Jeffrey.

Representing St. Charles High School at the county level were captain Zoe Hakim, Benjamin Brown, and Jordan Lewis. Other students on the team include Jonathan Hightower (alternate), Faarooq Amosu, Mason Jones, Andrea Kornegay, Jada McCallum, and Nishtha Patel. The coaches of the team are Mike Colatruglio and Matthew Howard.

Westlake High School was represented at the county event by captain Ashley Rodriguez, Deidre Gilliard, and Elijah Watkins. Student Madison Parrish is the team alternate. Coaches of the team include Natalie Finch-Howard and Amanda D’Onofrio.  

Its Academic features rounds of play in which three team members from each CCPS high school participate. A video of the local event is posted on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) YouTube page at

The program also is airing on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon Fios Channel 12 throughout the school year on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 7 p.m.

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