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Gigi Ekstrom
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Lakehill's Magic Club celebrates Trout's achievement.

John Trout has sponsored the Lakehill Magic: the Gathering club and summer camps every year since he began teaching fourth grade 12 years ago. 

Magic, a strategy card game that is something like the game of chess crossed with a fantasy world like The Hobbit and flattened into a card game, has been a hobby of his since he was in high school. Predating games such as Pokemon, it remains the most popular trading card game in the world, with millions of players in dozens of countries. When he's not teaching kids to play, or slinging cards himself, he referees local tournaments as a Magic judge.

This December in Waco, after eight years of judging events as an entry level judge and hours of study, Trout passed his exam to become certified as a Level Two judge. He will now be able to referee games at the state, national, and international levels, including large cash prize tournaments such as the Pro Tour, Grand Prix circuit, and National Championships, which often have thousands of players in a single room. Only 7% of certified judges make the leap to Level Two or beyond. Trout is 20th active Level Two judge in the state of Texas, and now ranks in the top 7% of judges in the entire world.
 
"I am really excited about this," said Trout. "I went through multiple interviews, collected recommendations from shops and tournament organizers who had worked with me, judged higher level events with other judges for peer review, wrote reports on the tournaments I judged, and had to study literally hundreds of pages of rules, both for the game and for how to referee the game. The last step was the 2 1/2 hour exam I passed in December. It was a substantial amount of work!"
 
The Lakehill Magic Club is offered to students in grades 4-8 and meets on Thursdays after school. Several Magic Summer Camps will be available at Lakehill this summer. Registration for all Lakehill Summer Camps begins February 21.
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