Bridge League marks 10-year partnership with La Jolla High

La Jolla High School vice-principal Tony Meeks, students Oliver Parker and Max Leonard, ACBL instructors Jill Seagren and Ron Ignelzi (holding the plaque to give to the school), students Cole Browning and Shelby Gayner, AP statistics teacher Greg Kinsel.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

For the last 10 years, following the completion of Advanced Placement (AP) tests, a small but dedicated group of American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) members have taught the game to AP statistics students at La Jolla High School. In that time, more than 1,500 students have participated in the bridge program.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, representatives from the ACBL La Jolla unit gathered for a plaque presentation and distribution of trophies, June 7 on the high school campus.

“After the students take their AP exams, we usually have 3-4 weeks before school lets out, so we come in and teach them basic bridge,” explained four-year instructor Jill Seagren.

“Basically, we teach them how to play duplicate bridge (a competitive form of bridge in which the same hands are played successively by different partnerships), and I provide the bidding boxes with pre-dealt ‘teaching’ hands.

“Each hand reinforces a concept we teach. We only lecture for 10 minutes, then we get the students playing right away. La Jolla Unit provides the instructors; I love doing it.”

The final two days, ACBL hosts a tournament.

“The whole class plays the same hands, and then at the end, we compare them,” Seagren explained. “That’s how we have winners in each class. This year, we did three classes.”

Boasting 94 students per year, she added that for the first time this year, there was a group of winners from all three classes. They are Oliver Parker, Max Leonard, Cole Browning and Shelby Gayner.

“Bridge is a thinking man’s game,” Seagren concluded. “There are statistics on how the cards are divided to consider and a lot of decision-making involved for these AP statistics students. It gets them to do more thinking.”

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