Bronx Schools

St. Barnabas team

The 13th season of The Challenge kicked off with all-star student scholars from the Academy of Mount St. Ursula and Saint Barnabas High School competing against each other in round one of this high school quiz show. This first round match-up aired on MSG Varsity.

New this season is Jared Cotter, former FUSE TV host and a popular semi-finalist from American Idol. Cotter serves as moderator, quizzing competing high school teams on their knowledge of history, arts and literature, current events, math and science.

“The Challenge just keeps getting better,” notes Theresa Chillianis, MSG Varsity’s general manager.

Representing the Academy of Mount St. Ursula will be Marian Guerra (team captain), Adeola Okoduwa, Alisha Roman, Kumhyun Song (team alternate) and Lucille Watkins. The academic advisors are Lisa Harrison and Glenn Stordeur.

Representing Saint Barnabas High School will be Leann Brathwaite (team captain), Krista Charles, Jeanny Gomerez, Kayly Lacroix and Claudia Penso. The academic advisors are Gary Westhoff and Fran Dziuma.

The Challenge began as a Long Island effort 13 years ago and now includes the entire tri-state area — Long Island (with Nassau and Suffolk as two distinct regions), the Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester/Lower Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Connecticut. This season, 184 high schools will be participating with the goal of becoming the Tri-State Challenge Champion and winning $10,000 for their school and $500 for each team member competing in that final round.

Fans of the show can also visit a dedicated page on Facebook that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the actual studio tapings and offers visitors a chance to sound off, share their experiences and cheer on their high school team.

More information on The Challenge, including standings, statistics and short contestant bios, is available on

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