The team from the Irvine Unified School District improved its ranking from last year when it finished 13th. This year’s competition featured 68 teams from across the state, including a total of five from Orange County.
Granada Hills Charter School from Los Angeles took first place and will represent California in the national competition next month.
“Our Orange County decathletes had a fantastic time and represented our county well,” said OCDE Coordinator Kristin Rigby.
“I am incredibly proud of all five of our teams, and I’m extra impressed when we have a team in the top 10 since California has an exceptionally competitive Academic Decathlon program, with the national champion coming from California for the past 16 years,” she said.
Most of the teams have been studying since last May or June, so they have worked really hard on some very challenging material for a long time.
“In addition the development of critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills, I also love seeing the social emotional impact of the academic decathlon experience on our student participants,” Rigby said. “And at the state competition, it is inspiring to see all five of our teams bond as if they are one big Orange County team..
This marks the 51st year of the Academic Decathlon, created by former Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Peterson.
Student teams compete for the highest scores on multiple-choice exams, speeches, interviews, essay assignments and the Super Quiz Relay, a gameshow-style event that takes place in front of a live audience.
Academic Decathlons are staged at the local, county, state and national levels with nine-member student teams. Each squad is to include three “Honor” students (those with GPAs of 3.75 or above), three “Scholastic” students (GPAs of 3.00 to 3.74) and three “Varsity” students (GPAs of 2.99 or below).
This year’s theme was “The 1960s: A Transformational Decade.”