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All-star student scholars from Floral Park Memorial High School will challenge West Hempstead High School in the first round of the 12th season of Cablevision's The Challenge, an academic quiz show designed to test students' knowledge in a Jeopardy-style format.

The first round match-up between Floral Park Memorial High School and West Hempstead High School will air exclusively on News 12 Long Island at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17. The Challenge, hosted by News 12 Long Island anchor Scott Feldman, can also be viewed anytime through the convenience of video on demand (VOD) through News 12 Interactive, located on iO TV Channel 612.

In its 12th season, The Challenge includes schools and students from the Bronx and Brooklyn, Long Island, the Westchester/Hudson Valley region, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than 900 students representing 184 tri-state area high schools are participating this season. Teams are typically made up of students who are at the top of their class - academic All-Stars who compete based on their knowledge of history, arts and literature, math and science.

"We look forward to even more high schools participating in The Challenge this season and we are pleased to give students the opportunity to compete in this popular weekly quiz show and to possibly go on to win the Tri-State Challenge Championship," Cablevision's Vice President of Education, Trent Anderson, said. "This should be an extremely exciting season with some fierce competition, providing a terrific half-hour of television for viewers of all ages. Cablevision, through Power to Learn, is committed to the development and education of students in the tri-state area, and The Challenge gives us the opportunity to do so in a fun and engaging way. We wish Floral Park Memorial High School and West Hempstead High School good luck as they face off in round one."

Representing Floral Park Memorial High School will be Thomas Galassi (team captain), Ryan Hauer (team alternate), Julia Palmeri, Sarah Roe and John Surico. Academic advisors are Denis Hayden and Nick Simone.

As this season of The Challenge progresses, schools will vie each week to continue on in the competition, which ultimately results in the best teams from each region facing off against each other next spring. Regional champions will then compete for the ultimate title, Tri-State Challenge Champion. The winning team in each region will receive $2,500 and go on to compete for $10,000 in the Tri-State Championship. Each student participating in the championship match will receive $500.

The Challenge is an important element of Cablevision's education initiative, Power to Learn. Earlier this year, the show received a Beacon Award - the industry's highest award for public-affairs excellence, as well as a New England Cable & Telecommunications (NECTA) Award for Public Service and Excellence in Cable Television.

The Challenge is moderated by popular News 12 anchors from each region -- Scott Feldman on Long Island, Tom Appleby in Connecticut, Bryan Jenkins in New Jersey, Heather McBride in The Bronx and Brooklyn and Brian Conybeare in Westchester/Hudson Valley.

More information on The Challenge, including standings, statistics and short contestant bios, is available on www.powertolearn.com as the tournament progresses. The Challenge is presented by Cablevision's Power to Learn and Cablevision's News 12.


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