MADERA COUNTY – For the 22nd year in a row, Yosemite High School has won the Madera County Academic Decathlon. The competition for 2015 was held on Feb. 7 in Madera.
The Academic Decathlon team from Yosemite High School will compete in the California Academic Decathlon State Finals on Mar. 20-22 in Sacramento.
Yosemite High School scored 35,952.3 points out of 65,400, and will challenge the best schools from throughout California.
The nine-member team, comprised of three “A”, three “B” and three “C” students, won the Madera County Decathlon after competing against five county high schools.
Chowchilla Union High School placed second, with Liberty High School coming in third in the competition. Other competing schools included Chawanakee Academy, Madera High and Madera South High.
“Congratulations to Yosemite High School for their 22nd consecutive win in Madera County! This is an amazing accomplishment,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “The students and coach are commended for their hard work and dedication in preparation for this prestigious academic competition.”
Yosemite High School also won the Super Quiz relay held in front of community members, donors, educators, parents and volunteers. First place rosette ribbons were awarded to the team members.
The Super Quiz, along with each objective test, was conducted using hand-held devices.
Teams were allowed 25 students and medals were awarded based on division. The interview and essay competitions were held a week before Decathlon Day where students wrote their essays on laptop computers.
A total of 116 medals were handed out at the Awards Ceremony. Chawanakee Academy received a total of 8 medals: 1 bronze, 4 silver and 3 gold. Chowchilla High received 26 medals: 8 bronze, 9 silver and 9 gold. Liberty High was awarded 23 medals: 11 bronze, 10 silver and 1 gold medal. Madera High received 7 medals: 1 bronze, 5 silver and 1 gold. Madera South High received 3 medals: 3 silver medals. Yosemite High was awarded 49 medals: 20 bronze, 8 silver and 21 gold medals.
“We are very proud of the Madera County Decathletes who have prepared all year for this culminating event,” said Cyndy Dolph, Associate Superintendent, Madera County Office of Education. “Congratulations to our students who have worked so diligently and to their coaches for their dedication to the success of their students.”
This year, each student participated in ten challenging events, including tests in art, economics, language & literature, mathematics, music, science and social science. The contestants performed a prepared and impromptu speech, wrote essays on a given topic and were interviewed by a panel of judges.
The 2015 Academic Decathlon topic was New Alternatives in Energy: Ingenuity and Innovation. Students answered questions from art, economics, literature, music, science and social science during the Super Quiz.
The Yosemite High team members who will be attending the state competition, led by coach Steve Browning, are: Honors Division- Clara Briley, Meagan Montalto, Jonathan Wharton; Scholastic Division- Christen Cogdell, Gregory Royse, Rebekah Urbano; Varsity Division- Rachel Arroyo, Eric de la Parra, Natalya Levashoff.
Jonathan Wharton from Yosemite High School, was the top scoring decathlete this year, scoring 6,736.10 points across the 10 events. Wharton also received the most medals, 4 bronze, 2 silver and 2 gold.
The top scoring senior from each school will receive a $100 scholarship. The following students earned the senior honors:
Chawanakee Academy- Ndiyo Moore
Chowchilla Union High School- Savannah Ramirez
Liberty High School- Emma Horanic
Madera High School- Halli Burton
Madera South High School- Evelyn Reyes
Yosemite High School- Jonathan Wharton
The Madera County Academic Decathlon is funded by donations from local businesses and community members.
“We are very fortunate in Madera County to have the support of businesses, community groups and individuals who value the academic achievement of students and support this event through donations and volunteering,” said Massetti. “Their support makes this event possible.”