FHS’ Academic Decathon brings home 18th State Championship

danAcademic Decathlon, Academic News at FHS, High School News, Organization News

AD-State-2014The Friendswood High School Academic Decathlon team again won the State Championship for 4A schools in Texas. The team won more than  $25, 000 dollars in scholarships after competing in San Antonio Feb. 21-23.

FHS also took second in the Super Quiz relay, which is a new format of 54 questions that is exhibition only.

FHS is a familiar school name in the state contest in that FHS teams have won 4A State AD Champions in the following years: 2013, 2007-2000, 1999-1993, and 1988, making this year their 18th State Championship, a record they alone have.

The Academic Decathlon is a ten-event scholastic competition for teams of high school students. Each high school enters a team of nine students: 3 “A” or Honor students, 3 “B” or Scholastic students, and 3 “C” or Varsity students.

Honors team members include Derek Janak, Julia Lu and Roma Pradhan. Scholastic team members include Chase Ehrig, Ramiro Garcia and Daniel Miniot. Varsity team members include Alex Briones, Raymond Monahan and Shannon Ney.

Team members won 26 individual medals and 18 team medals.

In Honors Division, Lu was first overall, first in Language and Literature, first in Music, second in Science, second in Economics, third in Interview, and second in Social Science.

Pradhan was third in Economics. Janak was fourth overall, third in Language and Literature, second in Science and third in Social Science.

In the Scholastics Division, Ehrig was first overall, third in Music, third in Interview and third in Social Science. Miniot was fourth overall, second in Language and Literature, first in Music, first in Economics, and first in Speech with a perfect score. Garcia placed second in Math.

In the Varsity Division, Briones was second overall, first in Language and Literature, first in Essay, first in Music, third in Math, and third in Social Science. Ney was third overall, first in Economics, third in Language and Literature, second in Music, second in Math, and third in Social Science. Monahan earned third in Economics, third in Speech and first in Social Science.

Coaches are Ashley Birmingham, Arden Curtis and Renae Simons.

“Thanks to the administration and faculty and secretaries that helped us along the way to this success. Special thanks for the fabulous send offs from the high school and Westwood Bales.  Our hearts were so touched when we drove by Westwood and all those precious children cheering us on.  This was all so sweet!” Simons said.

The United States Academic Decathlon is a team competition wherein students match their intellects with students from other schools. Students are tested in ten categories: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science, and Speech.

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for individual events and total scores. Winning teams advance through the local, regional, and state levels of competition.

At FHS, the Academic Decathlon is an elective course that receives one credit.

Based on the model of the athletic decathlon, the Academic Decathlon requires participants to prepare for ten academic events. Like the athletic contest, the Academic Decathlon does not permit participants to specialize but rather the Academic Decathlon encourages academic versatility by requiring students to prepare for all ten events. The Academic Decathlon stresses educational opportunity and academic excellence.

The Academic Decathlon was first created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, California. Firmly believing that everyone’s learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenge, Dr. Peterson set in motion the contest that has since come to be recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States. The program spread rapidly throughout the states due to the success and excitement it engendered. USAD was founded in 1981.