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Campolindo HS Ranks Impressive No. 10 at CA State Academic Decathlon Championship

Acalanes High also did well, ranking 22nd out of a very competitive 65 teams.

Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento. Photo: California Academic Decathlon.
Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento. Photo: California Academic Decathlon.

The recently crowned East Bay Regional Academic Decathlon Champions, Campolindo High School (see story), had a very impressive weekend representing Contra Costa County at the 2014 California Academic Decathlon in Sacramento. 

Campolindo’s Academic Decathlon coach Paul Verbanszky said the team repeated its success from last year.

We came in 10th in the State and won the medium-sized school title, which means we will return to compete in the online National Academic Decathlon in April,” Verbanszky said, adding that fellow Lamorinda team, Acalanes High (Lafayette) ranked 22nd.

The Alameda County representative, Dublin High, came in 54th. 

Sixty-five teams competed in the 35th annual state competition, with this year’s winner, El Camino Real Charter High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, now representing California at the National Academic Decathlon in Hawaii April 24 to 26. 

All of the other division winners, such as Campolindo, will compete online during the same time period. 

Campolindo team members also earned a number of individual awards: 

  • Uma Gaffney: Gold in Art (with a perfect score of 1000 points) 

  • Sarada Symonds: Silver in Art and Gold in Language/Literature 

  • Marina Han: Silver in Language/Literature and Silver in Essay 

  • Tristan Caro and Christoph Steefel: tied for a Bronze in Science 

  • Vikram Bhaduri: Bronze in Interview 

  • Christoph Steefel: Received a perfect score on the Super Quiz and is now part of what is called the "900 SQ Club" at State. 

Verbanszky teaches AP psychology and government/economics, and has been Campolindo’s Academic Decathlon coach since 2005. 

His Academic Decathlon is an after-school club with funding coming from generous donations and fundraising.   

Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education with assistance of community volunteers, the East Bay Regional Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of 10 academic tests and demonstrations. The curriculum includes art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science,essay, interview, speech (prepared and impromptu) and the Super Quiz™.

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.  

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