Below is a press release from the Contra Costa County Office of Education:
The recently crowned Contra Costa County High School Academic Decathlon Champions, Campolindo High School, had a very impressive past weekend at the 2013 California Academic Decathlon, held in Sacramento.
Campolindo’s coach Paul Verbanszky reported that the team represented Contra Costa County very well at the state competition. The team received the Most Improved School Award in state ranking for schools of all sizes—increasing from 40th to 24th place and they are the state champions for medium-sized schools. The team also earned 12 individual achievement awards. Verbanszky said “The team is incredibly excited to represent Contra Costa County and Northern California schools in the Online Academic Decathlon National in April!”
The main winner overall (Los Angeles Unified School District's Granada Hills Charter High School) will represent California at this year's National Academic Decathlon will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., April 25 – 27. All the other division winners, such as Camplindo, will compete online during the same time.
Campolindo’s highest scorer, Marina Han, said, “I felt pretty confident at State and really enjoyed the competition. I felt like I was in my element. I am slightly nervous, but looking forward to compete at the national level.”
Tristan Caro, who collected three individual medals in Sacramento, said, “I thought it was great that in just a few years we went from barely reaching 2nd place in county to making national competition. It really says something to the effort of everyone on the team and the dedication of the team members.”
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. It is a tremendous accomplishment to compete in the Nationals. He continues, “I am very proud of my students. They have put in countless hours after school preparing for competition. And, our team gives a big thank you to the Contra Costa County Office of Education for all of their hard work with Academic Decathlon, so that the students can have such a positive experience.”
Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and with the assistance of community volunteers, the county’s Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations. The curriculum includes art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, speech (prepared and impromptu), and the Super Quiz™. Approximately, 170 high school students from 10 schools participated in the event. This year’s Academic Decathlon theme was Russia, and the Super Quiz™ focused on the areas the participating students had been preparing for with the comprehension portion of Academic Decathlon, e.g., science, art, economics, and literature.
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. The program spread rapidly throughout the states due to the success and excitement it engendered. USAD was founded in 1981.