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FSDB Advances to Academic Bowl Nationals

Academic Bowl team and coaches posing in front of MSSD Eagles painting with Bobbi Cordano, the president of Gallaudet University.

Four deaf high school students representing FSDB—Brieara Warren (Crescent City), Nolan Fisher (Gainesville), Geoffrey Porter (St. Augustine), and Daniel Pletenets (Jacksonville)—secured second place in the southern regional Academic Bowl competition held February 14-17, 2020, at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf.

The Gallaudet University Academic Bowl was established in 1997 to foster academic excellence and achievement among recognized high schools or programs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The top four teams from each of the four regional competitions will vie for the national championship slated for April 16-20, 2020.

After pool competition during the regionals, the FSDB team rotated through several matches, beating out Mississippi School for the Deaf, Texas School for the Deaf, Taft Charter High School, Georgia School for the Deaf, and then Plano Senior High School during the opening round. In the quarterfinal and semifinal matches, they triumphed over Kentucky School for the Deaf and Pinellas County District, respectively. FSDB lost to Model Secondary School for the Deaf during the regional championship match, and Geoffrey Porter was one of six All-Star Player award recipients.

The FSDB student team is working hard to get ready for the national competition next month, with the support of coaches Valerie Griffin and Andrea Binder and former coach Matt Smith.

"Our talented students have proven that reaching for the stars is possible with hard work," said Deaf High School Assistant Principal Dina Padden. "We thank the volunteers, coaches, and families for working closely with and giving exceptional support to our Academic Bowl team."

Academic Bowl team holding their 2nd place trophies.


About FSDB

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit


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