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2017 Academic Decathlon Begins This Friday

COUNTY — The 35th Annual Madera County Academic Decathlon competition begins on Friday, Jan. 27.  High School students will compete in the interview and essay competitions at Madera County Office of Education, located at 1105 CA-145 in Madera.

Chawanakee Academy, Mariposa, Minarets, Yosemite, Chowchilla, Liberty, Madera, and Madera South high schools will be compete to be named county champion. Mariposa County High School will be joining the competition on behalf of Mariposa County.

This is the first time Minarets has competed in the Decathlon. Last year’s winner was Chowchilla High School. Before that, Yosemite High School held the top position for more than two decades. This year’s competition is shaping up to be fierce, as the winner of Madera County’s Academic Decathlon will advance to the state competition in March.

The remaining eight Decathlon events, including the speech competition, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Madera South High School. This year’s topic is World War II.

“The late Orange County superintendent, Dr. Robert Peterson, created the concept for the Decathlon while a prisoner of war in World War II,” explains Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools.  “What a fitting way to honor him while learning about such an important time in our history.”

Schools will be allowed up to 25 students per team and all are eligible for awards. The final overall team will be determined by selecting the top three scoring students from each division.

This is the fourth year the interview will be held on a separate day from the traditional Academic Decathlon day, the first Saturday in February. This will allow for the increased number of students and create a shorter Saturday competition.

This will also be the fourth year that the essay test will be held online. Students will complete their essays using a laptop computer. Essays will be scored by trained readers after the competition.

Students will continue to receive awards based on their division:  Honor, Scholastic and Varsity. Each division will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for each subject.

This year’s Super Quiz will be a collaborative effort. Students in each round will be allowed to discuss the question for 10 seconds and then answer the questions independently.

“The Super Quiz is a great way for students to work through the problem together but still have the ability to answer on their own,” said Massetti.

The public is invited to attend the Super Quiz and Awards Ceremony on Feb. 4 beginning at 3 p.m. at Madera South High School, located at 705 W. Pecan Ave.in Madera.

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