CA BOCES Hosts Virtual Scholastic Challenge

Olean, NY – May 5, 2020 – What do you get when you connect over 80 students, 23 teachers and administrators, 24 CABOCES Instructional Support Services (ISS) staff members, who are miles apart, each safely in their own homes, across 2 counties?

The first ever regional Virtual Scholastic Challenge.


On May 1, twenty teams from twelve area school districts met, virtually, to participate in the Virtual Scholastic Challenge. The Scholastic Challenge is an annual event that is hosted by Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES. The regional competition that tests students’ knowledge of academic trivia and current events, is typically held as a face-to-face tournament. This year, in response to extended school building closures throughout the region, the competition was held virtually.


42 matches took place over the course of the day, with nearly 1000 questions read aloud.  Teams, made up of 3-4 students each, mastered using an online buzzer system that created fast paced and exciting matches. ISS Digital Resources & Technology Coordinator, Alex Freer, one of the match readers, said that there was such a positive energy amongst all participants: “What a joy to be a part of today!”


Shannon Wood, Franklinville Central School’s coach added, “Please extend our thanks to all of the CA BOCES staff that participated in pulling off the VSC! It was really a great change of pace for the kids!  They look forward to this and you accomplished the new format very smoothly! Thank you for all of your hard work!”


Thank you to the 12 school districts that participated:

  • Belfast Central School, coached by Aran Heaney
  • Cuba-Rushford Central School, coached by Tom Kenyon
  • Ellicottville Central School, coached by Ann Chamberlain and Blair Wood
  • Fillmore Central School, coached by Bill Kelley
  • Franklinville Central School, coached by Shannon Wood
  • Genesee Valley Central School, coached by Sarah Horne, Kim Douglas, Cynthia Emrich
  • Hinsdale Central School, coached by Sara Centanni
  • Olean City Schools, coached by Mike Martel and Cait Butler
  • Portville Central School, coached by Gene Rogers
  • Scio Central School, coached by Tammy Straight
  • Wellsville Central School, coached by Diane Willard and Hope Gilfert
  • Whitesville Central School, coached by Alex Lipnicki


Congratulations to the 4 teams that scored the highest number of points at the end of 4 matches:

  • Junior (grades 6-9) Finals match: Whitesville (1st place) and Wellsville (2nd place)
  • Senior (grades 9-12) Finals match: Ellicottville (1st place) and Fillmore (2nd place)


Virtual scrimmages for were held for three weeks prior to the May 1 competition.


Tim Cox, Assistant Superintendent for ISS said he was pleased with the event and felt that it helped unify both students and staff. “It’s events like this that really bring our region together…especially now.”


As the regional leader in education services, CA BOCES offers state-of-the-art programs for learners of all ages and abilities as well as cost-effective shared services for 22 component school districts. CA BOCES empowers students to achieve their maximum potential by offering a wide variety of innovative programs and support that include special education, career and technical education, adult and continuing education, technology support, and instructional support services. To learn more, visit