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National News

Sunday, 9 December, 2007 11:25 AM

Renaissance High School's Steven Banks Wins the Detroit Citywide
Competition of the Second Annual 'National Vocabulary Championship'

Banks outperforms 78 other vocabulary scholars, winning $5,000 toward a higher education savings plan and qualifying to compete in the National Vocabulary Championship Finals in Los Angeles on March 10

DETROIT -- Steven Banks, a 17-year-old senior at Renaissance High School in Detroit outperformed 78 other local high school vocabulary scholars tonight, winning the NVC Detroit Citywide Championship. As the local champion, Banks earned $5,000 toward a "529" higher education savings plan and qualifies to compete in the "National Vocabulary Championship" Finals in Los Angeles on March 10, 2008.

The National Vocabulary Championship is a national academic competition conceived by GSN (Game Show Network) and its educational partner, The Princeton Review. The competition goes beyond traditional 'spelling bees' to test word definitions and overall word comprehension while providing college-bound students with the tools necessary to effectively communicate their ideas to the world. The NVC is hosting eight citywide qualifying events prior to the NVC Finals in LA, in which Banks will go head-to-head with 49 other top scoring students from the 90,000 who participated throughout the country. The winner of the NVC Finals will receive $40,000 toward a "529" higher education savings plan and the title of 2008 National Vocabulary Champion.

In partnership with Comcast Cable, tonight's live event was held at Renaissance High School in Detroit, MI. The event featured the top 79 scorers of the more than 10,000 students who participated at the qualifying level from local area schools including: Allen Park High, Anderson High, Annapolis High, Armada High, Breithaupt Career and Tech. Center, Cass Technical High, Central High, Chadsey High, Churchill High, Cody High, Communication and Media Arts High, Crocket Career Tech. Center, Davis Aerospace Tech. High, Dearborn High, Denby Tech. and Prep. High, Detroit City High, Detroit School of Arts, Franklin High, Franklin Road Christian, Hustle and TechKnow, Inkster High, Martin Luther King High, Mumford High, Northwestern High, Pershing High, Plymouth High, Redford High, Renaissance High, Seaholm High, Southeastern School of Technology, Southfield High, St. Mary's Prep. and Stevenson High.

On hand to show his support for the NVC, Detroit City Council President, Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. opened the event, commending GSN's educational efforts with the NVC and congratulating the Detroit finalists for their achievement.

Banks sealed his victory in the third and final round of competition by correctly identifying the word "Flagitious" as the synonym of "Heinous" from the following sentence:

"It was animosity rather than avarice that induced the megalomaniacal misanthrope to commit such flagitious deeds against his naive neighbors."

The knock-out-style round of vocabulary questions had begun with five finalists, of which Willa Chen from Plymouth High School placed second. As the second-place finalist, Chen will receive Encyclopedia Britannica's 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD as well as books and services from The Princeton Review. All competitors tonight were awarded one-year Encyclopedia Britannica Online subscriptions from NVC sponsor Encyclopedia Britannica.

At the NVC Finals on March 10, Banks will be joining St. Louis's Rajiv Tarigopula (a 15-year-old sophomore from Parkway West High School), Sacramento's Yvonne Lin (a 16-year-old sophomore from Folsom High School) and Nashville's Brian Swenson (a 16-year-old junior from Montgomery Bell Academy), each of whom recently won their own NVC citywide championships.

A proud partner of this and other educational initiatives in the area, Comcast Cable has again lent support to the National Vocabulary Championship. "Comcast's partnership with GSN and the NVC reaffirms our commitment to reinvigorate the minds of our young people to better prepare them to enter the global marketplace that we live in," remarked Gerald Smith, Regional Manager of Government Affairs for Comcast Michigan. "We applaud all the students who participated in this year's NVC and look forward to seeing Steven compete in the National Finals in Los Angeles."

"Comcast has been a valued supporter and committed partner of the NVC's efforts to further promote education programs in schools throughout the Detroit region," said Dennis Gillespie, Senior Vice President of Distribution, GSN. "We're thrilled that so many students like Steven are participating in cities across the country this year and wish him the best in representing Detroit in the National Finals on March 10."

To learn more about the NVC, visit


About the "National Vocabulary Championship"

GSN's National Vocabulary Championship (NVC) is a nationwide academic competition that offers high school students the opportunity to win money toward college tuition through local and national events. Created by GSN, along with educational partner The Princeton Review, the NVC is open to eligible high school students in the 50 United States and District of Columbia. The NVC is the cornerstone of GSN's award-winning "Win With Words" public service campaign dedicated to improving language arts skills in high schools by promoting the value of an enhanced vocabulary, providing free Princeton Review study materials and engaging students in wordplay. For free vocabulary study materials or for more information on GSN's National Vocabulary Championship, please visit

Source: GSN




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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.