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North Fork 8th graders celebrate their victory after 2018 Academic Decathon (photo courtesy Kristi Winter)

2020 Academic Decathletes Ready for Competition

MADERA — The 38th annual Madera County Academic Decathlon competition will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1 — with the interview and essay competitions held later this week prior to competition day.

Eight of the 10 Decathlon events, including the speech competition and Super Quiz, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Madera South High School.

This year’s topic is “In Sickness and In Health: A History of Illness and Wellness.”

The first day of this two-day high school event will be held at Madera County Superintendent of Schools Conference Center on Jan. 24.

Chawanakee Academy, Chowchilla High, Glacier High Charter, Liberty High, Madera High, Madera South High and Yosemite High Schools will compete for the county championship. The winner will advance to the state competition in March.

Schools are allowed to enter 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.

Teams are comprised of three divisions: Honor (“A” students), Scholastic (“B” students), and Varsity (“C” students).

Volunteers are needed to help score speeches on Feb. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at Madera South High School.

During the speech competition, students will deliver a four-minute prepared speech and a two-minute impromptu speech.

“We wouldn’t be able to create such a successful event without the engagement of our community volunteers,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County superintendent of schools. “It is a great way to get involved, especially as a judge, listening to insightful speeches and interviewing students who demonstrate the qualities needed for our future as the next community leaders.”

The interview and essay are held on a separate day to allow for the increased number of students and creates a shorter Saturday competition. Students across the entire state will be competing on the first Saturday in February.

Students will complete their essays using a laptop computer for the seventh year. Essays are then scored by trained readers after the competition.

Students will receive awards based on their division: Honor, Scholastic and Varsity. Each division will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for each subject. The highest scoring student in each subject will receive $100 as well as the top scoring senior on each team.

Scholarships are made possible because of local donors. Educational Employees Credit Union is a Diamond Sponsor of this year’s student events and Camarena Health is a Platinum Sponsor.

The 2020 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 perfect opportunity to showcase the students’ skills and knowledge of the subjects in front of an audience,” said Massetti. “Parents, school administration, and the community are given a glimpse of how much work goes into competing and the topics the students have studied.”

The public is invited to attend the Super Quiz and Awards Ceremony on February 1 beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Madera South High School. The awards ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to volunteer, please call Kristi Winter, coordinator for student events at 559-662-3873 or email kwinter@mcsos.org.

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