Participating schools gathering before the start of the competition

Inaugural Greater Cincinnati Regional High School Ethics Bowl – HUGE SUCCESS

On Saturday, January 21, the Cincinnati Ethics Center hosted five high schools, Gilbert A. Dater, Mt. Healthy, St. Ursula Academy, St. Xavier, and Walnut Hills at the inaugural Greater Cincinnati Regional High School Ethics Bowl held at the Carl H. Linder College of Business building on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. 48 students spread out over 8 teams competed in 3 preliminary rounds to obtain scores that seeded them for the single-elimination quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds. Our competition marked the first time, in the history of the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB), that Greater Cincinnati had more than one school, St. Ursula, participating in program.

Since October our schools prepared responses for 15 cases released by NHSEB. The newness of the competition didn’t deter the first year schools from putting on their best performance and thinking with clarity and decisiveness when presented with one of those cases in each round. Each team found its pace as the rounds progressed and the change was truly enthralling to watch. Each student showed mettle in articulation with the ethical issue presented to them and spoke with determination and passion, challenging each other’s ethical beliefs. “One of the things I learned is that sometimes morality and ethics require you to challenge what you conventionally think you know about the world” said a student from St. Xaiver. Their understanding of the issues was tested repeatedly by the questions from the opposition team and the judges, but every team responded swiftly and confidently.  

All teams were able to compete in the quarterfinal rounds with Mt. Healthy Team 1 vs. Walnut Hills Team 1 and St. Xavier vs. St. Ursula Team 1 advancing to the semi finals. All teams fought equally well, but Walnut Hills Team 1 and St. Ursula Team 1 advanced to the finals.

It was an extremely close match call with a split judges decision but, Walnut Hills Team 1 was named the winner of the inaugural event. All teams showed courage and exceptional skill leaving both judges and coaches speechless. One coach, Tyler Barrett from Mt. Healthy, having this to say about the display “I was moved to tears more than once during the competition last Saturday, in awe of the critical thinking on display. I believe that every young person that participated in this event has gained invaluable life skills, and I believe that every single young person deserves the opportunity to gain such skills. I am grateful for the Cincinnati Ethics Center, and the work they have done for my students!”  

The Greater Cincinnati Regional High School Ethics Bowl will always be held on the Saturday following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr holiday. The 2nd Annual competition is January 20, 2024. Contact if you want more information.

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