Quiz Bowl coach and robotics sponsor Mary Beth Mattingly takes pride in academic competitions

Mattingly's teams have won state, regional and league titles under her leadership

February 13, 2015

Quiz Bowl coach Mary Beth Mattingly stands with her 2009 Quiz Bowl state championship trophy on Wednesday, Feb. 11.
Quiz Bowl coach Mary Beth Mattingly stands in her classroom with her 2009 Quiz Bowl state championship trophy on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Editor’s note – This article has been changed on Thursday, Feb. 19 to reflect the 5A state championship win.

Science, Quiz Bowl and robotics all have a common link through Quiz Bowl coach and robotics sponsor Mary Beth Mattingly. She has taught science and been the Quiz Bowl coach since the school opened, and began sponsoring robotics 10 years ago.

“We’ve been doing [Quiz Bowl] since the school opened,” Mattingly said. “It was part of the district over at De Soto High School. I was a helper coach over there and, when I moved over to Mill Valley, I started a team up here.”

Although Quiz Bowl has been an event at the school for 15 years, not much about the competition has been altered.

“It hasn’t really changed that much,” Mattingly said. “We have good people that work together well. I will say that it’s gotten harder because we first started out in a 4A league and then moved to 5A league.”

The Quiz Bowl team took home its second 5A state championship title on Saturday, Feb. 14. In past years, the team won the 4A state title in 2009, placed second in 2010 and was third in 2003, 2006 and 2008. The team has won five regional championships, including 2015.

Juinor Patrick Gambill joined Quiz Bowl as a freshman and has been competing for three years now. Outside of his regular classes, Gambill hasn’t had Mattingly as a coach in anything other than Quiz Bowl, he has learned a lot from her.

“I’ve only had Mrs. Mattingly as a [Quiz Bowl] coach,” Gambill said. “However, she does have much more experience than many of the coaches from other schools … Practices are fairly casual but we all learn a lot.”

In addition to Quiz Bowl, Mattingly also enjoys being involved with Robotics.

Ten years ago, Mattingly started the robotics team with math teacher Brian Rodkey and gifted facilitator Carmen Shelly. While Mattingly has been the only sponsor to stick with the team, robotics sponsor Ann Ring joined her a few years back.

Besides the sponsors, there have been many other who have come through and helped out.

“We’ve actually had mentors come in who are engineers who were parents or aunts or uncles of the kids on the team,” Mattingly said.  “They were engineers from all over the place. They come and actually help the students with the build. Everyone really enjoys having them come through and help out.”

Between teaching science, coaching Quiz Bowl and sponsoring robotics, Mattingly finds it difficult to find time in her daily schedule. Although, with the help of her fellow Quiz Bowl coaches and robotics sponsors, Mattingly is able to find the time for her regular job and home life.

“Having the other teachers help is great for me because it’s hard to do things like lessons and get things graded,” Mattingly said. “Plus, there’s the home stuff I’ve got to take care of and it makes for very long days and weekends. It’s all I do on weekends; I either grade, clean, plan or cook.”

Even though these past 15 years have been quite hectic for Mattingly, she has enjoyed every single one.

“It’s just fantastic,” Mattingly said. “It is a part of my life I will always look back on with fond memories.”

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