By MAX FILBY
For Louise Teaman, it’s always been more about her students than her team’s record, but this year they’re one and the same.
Teaman, Van Buren High School’s librarian, is finishing her last year as coach of the quiz bowl team which competed in the small schools national competition for the first time earlier this month.
“I’m very proud of them,” Teaman said. “I’m really pleased with what they’ve done.”
Teaman, 62, has coached the team for 12 of the 14 years she’s been at Van Buren. She is stepping down as coach as she gets ready to also finish up her education career in 2015.
Teaman also coached the quiz bowl team at Arlington High School, where she previously worked for nine years.
“You don’t get your own students when you’re the librarian, so this is a way to get to know them,” Teaman said.
The team traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the national quiz bowl, a game which tests students’ academic knowledge, with about 50 other schools from 21 states. Four or five of the schools Van Buren faced ended up placing in the top 10, giving the team one of the tougher schedules in the tournament, students said.
Although the team only won two of its matches, Teaman said she couldn’t be happier that the team made it that far.
“Obviously, this was the highlight and the best way to go out,” Teaman said.
The trip cost the team about $5,000. Teaman and the students raised money by selling coupon booklets for Elder-Beerman, and by acquiring private donations from individuals. Students’ families also kicked in some money for them to make the trek.
During the trip, Teaman and her students visited the huge Mall of America and did some sightseeing around Minneapolis.
“It was really exciting,” said Matt Cooper, a junior at the high school. “We really had some fun up there.”
The Van Buren team qualified for the national competition by going undefeated in a countywide competition at Riverdale School in January. Riverdale is the only other team in the area that has qualified for the national competition before, Teaman said.
While the national competition may have been Teaman’s last time coaching, she’s confident the Van Buren team will continue to be successful.
“I’m not worried,” Teaman said. “It’ll be in good hands.”