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High School Brainiacs Battle It Out On WSRE

New Academic TV Tournament Premieres Feb. 7

Pensacola, Fla. — WSRE’s newest local program, “Academic Challenge,” features teams of top high school students from Escambia County trying to outwit (and out buzz) each other in hopes of claiming the top title of champion. The competition covers subjects ranging from math and science to arts and humanities, and everything in between. Hosted by Jonathon E. Thompson, the academic tournament coordinator for the Escambia County school district, “Academic Challenge” includes four teams from Pensacola High School, Pine Academic ChallengeForest High School, J.M. Tate High School and Booker T. Washington High School. Tournament play will take place as a “round-robin” and culminate with a championship match. The program will premiere Thursday, February 7 and will air at 8 and 8:30 p.m. each week with the championship airing Thursday, February 28 at 8 p.m. The programs will repeat the following Saturday at 4 and 4:30 p.m.

Schedule on WSRE:
February 7, 8 p.m. – Pensacola High School vs. Washington High School
February 7, 8:30 p.m. – Pine Forest High School vs. Washington High School

February 14, 8 p.m. – Pine Forest High School vs. Tate High School
February 14, 8:30 p.m. – Pensacola High School vs. Pine Forest High School

February 21, 8 p.m. – Pensacola High School vs. Tate High School
February 21, 8:30 p.m. – Tate High School vs. Washington High School

Jonathan E. ThompsonFebruary 28, 8 p.m. – Championship Match

Jonathan E. Thompson is the Academic Tournaments Coordinator for the Escambia County School District. In that role, Thompson coaches the Escambia County All-Star Academic Team, which competes at the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge (Florida’s state championship) each April. Escambia teams have won the state title six times, three of which Thompson was coach (2006, 2010, 2011).  A quiz bowl player himself while in high school, Thompson was a participant in an earlier version of the same televised academic tournament that he now hosts on WSRE!

About WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast
WSRE is a PBS member station that is locally owned and licensed to the Pensacola State College Board of Trustees operating as a service of Pensacola State College. The public broadcasting station has been serving the needs of the Gulf Coast community through programming, educational services and outreach since 1967. WSRE produces, acquires and distributes programs that address local interests and reflect the diverse cultural, political, geographic and demographic characteristics of its audience. The Educational Services unit for WSRE serves as the connection to teachers, parents, caregivers and children to extend the rich resources found in public television. For more information about WSRE, its services, programs or available resources, visit


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WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast
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(850) 484-1200 or 1-800-239-9773
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