January 20, 2019

SSC junior gets everybody buzzing


STANDISH — Being on a team or in a group isn’t fun when your voice is never heard or you never get to play.

That was the case for Standish-Sterling Central High School’s (SSC) Knowledge Bowl team when the group didn’t have enough “buzzers” — buttons that contestants use to alert judges that they want to answer a question.

And even the buzzers they had were in poor condition.

“The buzzers that we had were pretty wore down, half of them were broken,” said SSC Knowledge Bowl member Emily Polczynski.

So Polczynski took it upon herself to try to get more team-members involved in practices by seeking donations for a new buzzer system. Her first step was approaching SSC principal Mark Williams to get the O.K. to begin searching for funds.

“She wanted to set something up and take initiative herself,” Williams said, adding that he gave her full support. “She got herself some community service hours as well.”

SSC requires students to complete 40 hours of community service before graduating.

After getting the nod from the school administration, Polczynski, who is in Knowledge Bowl for her second year, sent a letter to Kiwanis of Standish, the Lions Club of Standish and Grace Episcopal Church in Standish. She told them in the letter that she had enough money to cover approximately half of the $550 cost of a new buzzer system and asked for help to provide the remainder of the funds.

“They gave me the rest of the money,” Polczynski said.

The Knowledge Bowl coach, Jennifer Gehlmann, believes the new system will be a big boost for the team.

“The system we got has enough buzzers for 15 people, before we only had enough for 10. … It will allow more players to practice using buzzers,” Gehlmann said. “That helps them with the quickness in competition.”

Gehlmann said she was thankful for Polczynski’s interest to get others involved.

“She’s a smart kid and a hard worker,” Gehlmann said.


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