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May 27, 2003

Deaf school wins national championship

From: WTHR, IN - May 27, 2003

Julia Moffitt/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, May 27 - Words of congratulations fill the hallways of the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis. Students have a lot to be happy about. ISD is the new national champion in the Academic Bowl for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Bob Kovatch is the school's principal. "We've always prided ourselves in being one of the better deaf schools, if not best deaf school, in the nation and this really puts us on the map."

The Academic Bowl team is made up of five students; sophomores Trevor Baldwin and Jon Mowl and seniors Drew Robarge, Ellen O'Hara and Pia Paulone, who also won the Outstanding Player award. "We've been practicing since my sophomore year and working towards this."

Seventy schools participated in the Academic Bowl which started in February with regionals. Teams face questions about language, literature, science, mathematics and geography. Speed reading is a must.

Last year the team came in fourth in the national championship.

"The regional was easier than the national, national was a lot tougher questions, harder and a new step up, and competition. it was more fun," says Team Co-Captain Drew Robarge.

Coaches Chuck Daube and Mary Kovatch are proud of their students. Kovatch says it proves they're more than just smart, they can succeed. "A lot of people have the idea that deaf can not achieve academically, and these kids can achieve against anybody."

A clear sign they have very bright futures.

The seniors on the team are all headed to college with scholarships after graduation.

Coaches say the team will have to work hard in order to defend its national title next year.

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