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MONTREAL, MAY 19,  2011 – For the first time since 2007, the Quebec Scholastic Challenge was captured by a student from the English Montreal School Board, as Alexander Spinali from LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent beat out students from across Quebec to take home the championship.  He will be recognized at a meetinh of the Council of Commissioners on Tuesday, May 24 (7:30 p.m.).

The Scholastic Challenge is a contest for Grade 8 students, which is designed as an enrichment activity to stimulate their interest in knowledge, thinking and learning. The contest has been offered across Canada since 1998. The online test consists of 100 questions across six categories: General Knowledge (food, art, sports, music, current events, entertainment, mythology, etc.), Language and Literature, History, Geography, Science and Math. Each year, schools across the EMSB invite many of their top-achieving students to participate in this contest.

“While the LaurenHill students have always performed very well, with the majority of participants scoring above the national average, this is the first time that we have had a provincial winner.” said Sherilyn Bell, the school’s guidance counsellor.

“I honesty do not know what to say,” said Spinali, an honour roll student in the school’s French Immersion program. “I am absolutely shocked!”

Spinali, who also attended Parkdale Elementary School in St. Laurent, hopes that his success in this contest will propel him onto his future dream of working in the science and technology sector. “I plan on becoming an aerospace engineer working for the Canadian Space Agency,” he added. “I really enjoy the field of science and technology.”

Past champions have attended Selwyn House School in Westmount (2010), Bialik High School in Cote St. Luc (2009, 2008), Royal West Academy (2007, 2006, 2005) in Montreal West, Trafalgar School for Girls (2004) downtown and Lower Canada College (2003) in N.D.G.

For further information on the Scholastic Challenge and their new contest for Grade 6 students, please visit:


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213