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Academic Decathlon 2011-2012

posted Nov 15, 2011, 9:32 PM by Golden Knight   [ updated Nov 15, 2011, 9:38 PM ]

by Lance Bird

11/10/11

Beaten but not broken by last year’s heartbreaking loss to Alemany High School at the Southern California Private Academic Decathlon (SCPAD) Regional Competition, the Saint Francis Academic Decathlon team has, after just a week of school, already begun to gear up for this year’s SCPAD Regional Meet. The speeches have been written, the packets have been printed, and their collective sanity has been lost. The decathletes are ready. This year’s overarching topic European Imperialism. In addition to the history of imperialism, the decathletes will be studying the science, music, art, literature, and economics of the time period.

Although the Academic Decathlon team has gained much recognition over the past few years for its accomplishments at the regional, state, and national level, many Saint Francis students still do not know what the Academic Decathlon team is or does.

The Academic Decathlon team is a group of, eventually, nine students who will compete to win medals, points, and glory for Saint Francis High School. Of the nine students, three are derived from each of the GPA brackets, Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity. The Honors bracket ranges from 4.0 to 3.75. The Scholastic bracket ranges from 3.749 to 3.0, and the Varsity bracket ranges from 2.99 to 2.0. As such, the team draws from an academically diverse background of students who all share a common passion for learning. Every year, the team studies packets provided by the United States Academic Decathlon that are filled with information on economics, science, history, music, art, and literature.

Come competition day, the Academic Decathlon team will complete tests in each of the aforementioned subjects in addition to a test in mathematics, a live interview, a handwritten essay, a prepared speech given from memory, and an impromptu speech prepared on the spot. Through these arduous tasks, a certain points sum is derived. If the points sum of this year’s team outweighs that of the other teams within SCPAD, the team will travel on to compete at the state level.
This year’s team is filled with accomplished individuals who can accomplish anything they set their mind to. Without a doubt, this group of talented individuals is perfectly capable of going on to compete at the state level if they continue to press forward and study hard. Fellow students: encourage your classmates and the valiant, albeit insane, members of this year’s Academic Decathlon team. Oh, wait. WE ARE NOT A SPORTS TEAM!

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