Hostway marketing copywriter Stephen Fontenot serves as Assistant Director and Central Texas Coordinator for the Texas Quiz Bowl Alliance (TQBA), an organization that facilitates high school, college and middle school academic competition across the Lone Star State.
In this role, Stephen started San Antonio's first quiz bowl circuit from scratch in Fall 2011. TQBA held its fifth San Antonio-area event in April 2013, and has 23 local high schools participating in the four-on-four buzzer-based competition.
During an average school year, Stephen works at about eight tournaments, including traveling to the Middle School and High School National Championship Tournaments as a volunteer. 2013's national events were held in Chicago and Atlanta.
"At the most basic level, quiz bowl is about broadening horizons, about learning things you may not encounter in the classroom, from Salk to Saint-Saëns to Saramago," Stephen said. "It rewards academic achievement in a way that isn't necessarily found elsewhere. It's fun, and it fosters teamwork skills among those who might be used to being self-reliant."
Stephen has been involved in quiz bowl since his freshman year of high school -- sadly, 21 years ago, he notes -- and has been volunteering as a moderator and coordinator at these events for 15 years.
"Seeing the standard of knowledge grow year over year is really fulfilling," Stephen said. "What students need to know today is well beyond what we were asked decades ago."
In May, Stephen received an Alumni Community Award from Alpha Phi Omega’s Alpha Gamma Kappa chapter at his alma mater, Southwestern University, for his work with TQBA. APO is a national co-ed service fraternity.
To learn more about TQBA's efforts, visit http://www.texasquizbowl.org.