The Scarlet Scroll

Competing in the Classroom

Academic Decathlon Team Profile

Isabella Balandran

Isabella Balandran

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Academic Decathlon is a safe space for students of all grades, backgrounds and GPA levels to come together and compete academically all while enriching their minds.

The group meets practically year round, beginning in the spring to prepare for the next year as they work on their speeches, then have a brief summer camp mainly for team bonding, then learning the material in the fall and drilling until the competitions in the winter and spring season.

Contrary to popular belief, Academic Decathlon is not a team composed of honors students with GPAs over the 4.0 mark. In order to compete, the group is also required to fill categories between a 3.0 and 3.74 as well as below a 3.0 grade point average.

“This is my favorite part of Academic Decathlon; it’s such a broad spectrum of students who are needed to create a team,” says team coach Anna-Lisa George.

Every year, there is a different topic determined by the United States Academic Decathlon which decides the ten subjects the students study.

Senior and Team Captain Brian Smith describes competing as a satisfaction with confidence after so much practice and studying. “Competing is a fantastic experience,” he explains, “You get to work with a lot of your friends and on the day of the event it’s a wonderful experience knowing that you know the information.”

Freshman Kaitlin Nguyen’s first time experience with competing was a nervousness fostered into eager energy. “In the beginning, I did feel nervous but it was that good kind of nervous that makes you excited and you’re eager to work your hardest and be able to know what results come out of all that hard work you’ve done,” she said.
Academic Decathlon is a group where students of all academic successes and all walks of life come together and absorb intelligence as a group effort.

“Of course it’s fun to win,” said George. “I really think that the connections that we make with one another are what make us all [come back each year] and make it really worthwhile.”

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Competing in the Classroom