THS Academic Decathletes Collect Medals

The Trumbull High School Academic Decathlon Team finished 3rd in the Connecticut Academic Decathlon competition held on Saturday February 28, 2015 in Waterbury, CT. Individual team members scored highly in many of the events, receiving medals in several. This year’s team was comprised mainly of first-time competing underclassmen who are poised to challenge this year’s winner—New Fairfield High School—in upcoming seasons.

The event which had been originally scheduled at the Post University campus was instead held at Waterbury’s CoCo Key Convention Center due to last-minute scheduling difficulties. Several parents and coaches were recruited to fill in as judges and proctors for the various events.

Trumbull’s efforts were hampered when key members of the Scholastic and Varsity divisions were scratched from the contest because of scheduling conflicts. Despite the diminished squad, Trumbull High School individual team members fared quite well winning several top medals in many of the ten events.

Freshmen members Ishan Negi and Daejah Woolery medaled in their respective divisions: Mr. Negi in math and Ms. Woolery in art and music. Sophomore Alexandra Dima took home five medals including a gold in art, a bronze in music, and silver in the essay, economics, and science contests. She also scored highly in the public “super quiz” event. Team president, Caroline Forster, concluded her Academic Decathlon Honors Division career by winning gold medals in language/literature and music; silver in social sciences; and bronze in art, math, and speech.

Each year this national student competition chooses a particular theme or epoch for participants to study and then tests their knowledge in ten tests taken over the course of a day. This year’s theme was “New Alternatives in Energy” and the corresponding literature piece was Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. The ten events are: art, economics, essay, language & literature, math, music, social science, science, speech/interview, and “Super Quiz”. The “Super Quiz” consists of questions from many of the disciplines and is the lone public competition where friends, relatives, and classmates can cheer on their teams.

A unique characteristic of the United States Academic Decathlon compared to other educational competitions is the requirement that each team be comprised of members with varying scholastic achievement levels. Thus, three members must have a grade point average (GPA) of greater than 3.75; three members will possess a GPA below 3.0; and the final three fall somewhere in the middle. This mandate allows for greater student diversity and a more realistic representation of a school’s overall student body.

Trumbull has finished in third place the last two years and was state champion in 2011 and 2012. Next year’s theme which has just been announced is India. Trumbull High School students who are interested in trying out for the team are encouraged to contact coaches Sara Ellis or Dean Pelligra for more information as preparations for next year’s competition will begin shortly.

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