Great Valley High School Wins the Title of PA State Academic Competition Champions

PA State Academic Competition ChampionsGreat Valley High School is all smiles as they take the title of Chester County Academic Competition champion for the 2020-21 school year. (Submitted Image)

DOWNINGTOWN, PA — Great Valley High School took first place in the virtual PA State Academic Competition that was held on Friday, April 30, 2021, where 18 of PA’s top high school teams competed for title of PA State Champion.

In the exciting, daylong competition, it was Chester County’s very own Great Valley High School that won it all with 110 points, competing against Manheim Township High School, Hempfield High School and Kiski Area High School in the final round. Great Valley High School was awarded a $1,000 scholarship; Manheim Township High School was awarded a $500 scholarship for second place, and Hempfield High School also received a $500 scholarship for third place.

John A. Lawrence
Representative John A. Lawrence welcoming each team to the virtual PA State Academic Competition that was held on Friday, April 30, 2021.

Now in its 30th year, The PA State Academic Competition is hosted by Representative John A. Lawrence of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

Bernard McCauley, coach of the Great Valley High School varsity team for the ninth year in a row, is proud of the hard work his team devoted to preparing for the competition. “I am lucky that this group worked diligently on their own in the form of studying within their categories from old notes, questions and other means. They also met together to review current events and participate in some group practices for teamwork in the days leading up to the State Academic Competition event.”

In order to advance to the PA State Academic Competition and represent Chester County, Great Valley High School needed to compete and win against all of Chester County’s academic competition teams in the Chester County Academic Competition Finals. In the final match of the competition, Great Valley High School, West Chester East High School, Bayard Rustin High School and Unionville-Chadds Ford High School competed against each other for the title of varsity champion. It was a nail-biting match, but at the sound of the last buzzer, Great Valley High School took home the trophy for the fourth year in a row.

When asked how the team prepared for the Academic Competition’s regular season matches, Great Valley senior, Anshu Nunemunthala, said, “I focused on the types of questions that usually come up. I thought about which subjects to study and focused on my past experiences as a guide to prepare for the PA State Academic Competition.” Rishi Raman, another senior at Great Valley, added, “I went through my notes and old questions and tried to keep up with current events.”

Junior varsity teams Great Valley High School, West Chester East High School, West Chester Henderson High School and Downingtown S.T.E.M. Academy were the four schools to advance to the final round of the junior varsity competition. After a tough-fought match, it was West Chester Henderson High School who took the title of junior varsity champion, scoring 105 points.

The Chester County Academic Competition, which is coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit, was held virtually throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. Even though this year’s competition looked different from previous years, the mission of the competition remained the same ¾ to promote lifelong learning, celebrate academic achievement and enhance self-confidence as members of a team by providing healthy yet challenging opportunities for high school students to develop both academic, social and personal skills.

For more information about the PA State Academic Competition or the Chester County Academic Competition, please visit

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