In a dazzling display of academic achievement, Etiwanda High School cemented its Vocabulary Bowl legacy by becoming the competition’s first five-time overall champion, winning its titles consecutively since 2017. McKenzie Middle School battled until the end in a remarkably close race and was crowned the overall champion in the middle/elementary school category for the first time. Each school will receive its Champions Cup at a special ceremony, and all 50 U.S. state and 9 Canadian provincial winners will be recognized for their Bowl achievements with championship banners.

The Vocabulary Bowl is hosted by Vocabulary.com, the leading destination for improving literacy through vocabulary building.

Erudite Etiwanda
Etiwanda High School (EHS) is located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and enrolls 3,400 students. Etiwanda is no stranger to Vocabulary Bowl record books: the school’s quintuple makes it the most decorated participant in Bowl history, and it previously set the record for most words learned in a season and most monthly wins overall (51). EHS kept pace with previous years by mastering an astonishing 335,569 words during the 2020-2021 season!

An extraordinary win calls for special recognition, so Vocabulary.com created a new word to honor Etiwanda’s fifth straight victory: Quintarian. The word is a combination of the Latin quintus, meaning “fifth,” and the suffix -arian, which forms nouns and adjectives concerned with a specific concept. As a noun, quintarian signifies a person, school, or team that wins a championship five times!

Volunteer state victory
McKenzie Middle School (MMS) serves 370 students and is located in McKenize, Tennessee. McKenize’s remarkable rise through the leaderboards highlights the school’s commitment to literacy. Last year, the Rebels placed 80th in the middle/elementary category. This season, McKenzie triumphed in the middle/elementary school and Division III categories, won the Tennessee state title and mastered the third-most words (218,033) out of all participants! McKenzie was in a neck-and-neck race through the closing days of the Bowl, eventually beating out a much larger rival school that had several times the number of students!

Vocabulary Bowl division champions
During the Vocabulary Bowl, schools also battle it out within one of three divisions based on enrollment size. The division winners are:

  • Divisions I: Winner—Etiwanda High School (Rancho Cucamonga, California); Runner up—Walnut Hills High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Division II: Winner—Great Neck North Middle School (Great Neck, New York); Runner up—Pines Middle School (Pembroke Pines, Florida)
  • Division III: Winner—McKenzie Middle School (McKenzie, Tennessee); Runner up—Elise Buckingham Charter High School (Vacaville, California)

“It’s an honor to recognize the winners and participants of this year’s thrilling competition,” said Kristin Eckhardt, Senior Marketing Manager at Vocabulary.com. “We are inspired by the collective accomplishments of the schools and students that demonstrated their unquenchable thirst for building literacy skills and developing a love of language.” 

“At the beginning of this year’s Bowl, our teachers and students set a goal to be national champions,” said Cassie Ellis, 8th-grade English language arts teacher at McKenzie Middle School. “We proved what Mark Twain stated, ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog,’ by surpassing schools five times our size. We are extremely proud of our faculty and students for rising to the occasion to represent the community of McKenzie, Tennessee!”

Fast Facts about the 2020-2021 Vocabulary Bowl:

  • Total students participating: 1,300,000+ million students
  • Total schools participating: 43,500+
  • Total words mastered: 36,600,000+
  • K-12 students from 50 U.S. states, U.S. territories and 9 Canadian provinces participated
  • Students earn points for their school by mastering words on Vocabulary.com
  • See the full results of this season’s Vocabulary Bowl here.

How schools use the Vocabulary Bowl to build literacy
Vocabulary.com uses adaptive technology that tailors literacy instruction to students’ unique needs. The Vocabulary Bowl gives educators a fun opportunity to further personalize instruction, boost literacy skills and inject competitive spirit into education. Teachers have used the Bowl to gamify learning by giving extra credit to classroom point leaders every week, presenting monthly awards to students who master the most words and posting results in parent newsletters to share their learners’ successes! 

About Vocabulary.com
Founded in 2010, Vocabulary.com provides students with a dynamic and personalized environment to grow their vocabulary. With a dictionary that teaches over 15,000 words, Vocabulary.com makes learning and discovering new words fun with entertaining definitions and real-world examples sourced from literature and journalism. Adaptive, individualized and interactive, the platform seamlessly integrates with any school curriculum, helping students master the academic vocabulary they’ll encounter in literature, textbooks and standardized tests. To date, nearly 4 million learners in 56,000 schools around the world have answered more than 5 billion questions on Vocabulary.com. Vocabulary.com joined the IXL Learning family in 2020.

Press Contact
Eric Bates
IXL Learning
[email protected]

SOURCE IXL Learning

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