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AcaDec earns 3rd in Division 2

After months of preparation and hours of study outside of the classroom, Academic Decathlon [AcaDec] students arrived at their final destination on Feb. 4.

AcaDec students met in the Fresno State gym at 3: 30 P.M. to compete in the Super Quiz competition with a wide variety of high schools from the Fresno County area. The Super Quiz was the 10th and final test for the nine campus students.

Earlier in the day, the students competed in subjects such as math, economics, music, art, and language and literature. Both parents and students were encouraged to attend the Super Quiz held in the North Gym to support the effort AcaDec has put forth in the past months.

The Awards Ceremony began at 7 P.M. to congratulate and honor the AcaDec teams and individuals who had earned gold, silver and bronze medals. This year?s subject matter was the culture and history of the Renaissance.

Last year the team placed first in Division 2, riding the high scores and winning speeches of two significant seniors: Chris White and Anne Hierholzer.

?Last year we had Chris and Anne to give us strong leadership,? Gary Darakjian, ?06, said. ?This year was a little harder because we did not have one specific person that was our leader.? Darakjian won three individual medals including one in music which was not one of his specialties.

“I was surprised to earn a bronze in music as I did not spend a lot of time studying that topic,” Darakjian said. “But I’ll take the recognition. You never know what the tests will ask and I was fortunate.”

The team as a whole walked away with 14 individual medals and placed third in Division 2 with 30,361.8 points behind first place Clovis High (33,528.2) and Reedley (30,598.2).

“I think the team did fairly well as a whole,” Brianna Stobbe, ’06, said. “Personally I was satisfied receiving a silver in both speech and interview. Yet after it was all said and done, I think we all thought that individually we could have studied a bit more.

“But to a certain extent we all did the best of our abilities. I mean the curriculum is college level stuff and not the easiest to comprehend all the time. So with that in consideration, I thought we did well.”

The greatest challenge for the team was motivation to prepare for the competition.

?One of the biggest obstacles was procrastination,? Molly Sargent, AcaDec adviser, said. ?All the subject matter requires learning from scratch and the reading material is very difficult so it was tough motivating students to read and study the material.?

Although studying may be a push for some AcaDec students, others found the class to be enjoyable.

?I love AcaDec, the rewards are amazing,? Will Hierholzer, ?07, said. ?What other class is there that you have the chance to win money? I?ve made $1,100 in savings bonds in the last two years and have won 13 medals.?

AcaDec also covers material that is not offered in regular, honors or AP classes.

?AcaDec is great because you learn so much,? Hierholzer added. ?I have been called a cesspool of knowledge, and all the curriculum provides more knowledge to the cesspool.?

Students are encouraged to join the AcaDec team next year for a number of reasons.

?I really recommend students to join AcaDec,? Sargent said. ?You?ll receive four units of college Humanities credit through Fresno State University. Also the material is not like any other class and since Fresno Christian does not offer a lot of elective and AP classes, it is invaluable.?

The overall Division 1 winner was Edison High who scored over 46,000 points. To put this score into perspective, William Howard Taft High of LA Unifed was California’s high school overall winner with 51,516.2 points. Edison, fifth in California with 46,249.6 points and 14th ranked Bullard (43,655.7 points), finished one and two in Fresno County, will represent Fresno County in the State’s Acadec final competition March 17 in Los Angeles.

For more information on the Academic Decathlon, visit their website at

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