Youngster did 'very well' on 'Jeopardy,' his mom says

cwalsh@herald-leader.comJuly 6, 2010 

  • On TV

    'Jeopardy Kids Week'

    7:30 p.m. July 6 on WKYT (Channel 27)

Like all good Jeopardy contestant family members, Billie Walters won't divulge the results of the show airing Tuesday featuring her son Will.

But she did say he did "very well" on the annual Jeopardy Kids Week.

Will, 13, tried out for the popular game last October and made it through several rounds of tryouts before being chosen for the show. A student at the Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Will was 12 at the time of the contest.

"Will is an exceptional student and a voracious reader," said Camellia Rizk, Will's seventh-grade language arts teacher. "He is willing to challenge himself academically and is extremely capable. He can accomplish whatever he puts his mind to."

In addition to being enrolled in all accelerated courses at school, Will took the SAT, a college entrance exam, last year and scored in the top 1 percent in the nation, a statistic that includes high school students, his mom said. For that achievement, Will was awarded "grand recognition" by Duke University's Talent Identification Program.

Will is a longtime member of the Governors Cup Academic Team's quick-recall team, and quick recall is a lot like the Jeopardy format. Last year, his team was first in the district and second in the region and got to go to state, his mom said.

This summer, Will is attending VAMPY, the Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth, at Western Kentucky University, but he plans to be home Tuesday to watch his Jeopardy performance with friends and family.

Will's interests don't start and stop with academics. His mom said that in addition to math, science and technology, Will plays tennis and baseball, and he has been on the swim team. He also plays the drums and the piano; he is first percussion chair in his school's band.

Will hopes to attend Dunbar High School's Math, Science and Technology Center, and he dreams of attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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