Approximately 300 students from 12 high schools in San Joaquin County – including Escalon – took part in the 38th Annual Academic Decathlon, held by the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE). The competition began with students engaging in speech and interview contests at the SJCOE on Jan. 26. On Feb. 2, the competition moved to Lathrop High School, where competitors showcased their knowledge of art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science, and social science in a series of tests, culminating in the high-energy Super Quiz. Each year, all the decathlon events are tied together with a single theme. This year, the theme was The Sixties.
Schools can field multiple teams, but only one Division I team can compete from each school. Each nine-member team consists of three students in each of three categories based on grade point average: Honors (3.75 – 4.0+), Scholastic (3.0 – 3.74), and Varsity (0.0 – 2.99).
Escalon High School Academic Decathlon coach Joshua Cohen reported some strong performances from his team this year.
He noted that Escalon participated in the Club Division, which is designed for those schools where the students meet when they can. That is opposed to the Class Division, where the students have Academic Decathlon as part of their school curriculum.
Cohen said EHS is part of the Club Division and met on Fridays after school until around 5 p.m.
The Escalon Academic Decathlon Team earned a Team Bronze, third place, in the Club Division.
Gloria Rodriguez earned a bronze, third place in essay – Club Honors Division.
Capturing individual overall placings in the club division, out of 50 students, saw Mya Beary place seventh in Interview and Gloria Rodriguez 14th.
In speech, Joseph Meneses was sixth, Rodriguez eighth. In Essay, Rodriguez took first in the club division and Sherry Tseng was ninth.
In the overall total score competition, Rodriguez finished fourth and Christian Davalos was 14th.
“Gloria finished with the fourth highest score for any student in the Club Division and missed out on overall medal by 200 points,” said Cohen. “We had some nice individual performances on top of the fact that we finished third in the club category and got a plaque and medal.”
Top Overall School was Middle College High School, Lodi Unified School District. Middle College High School received the Dave Sorgent Winner’s Cup and will compete at the State Academic Decathlon Championship in Sacramento, March 21-24.