Academic Decathlon


Matthew D. Hernandez , writer

Academic Decathlon is a competition in which schools statewide compete in real world scenarios. The real world scenarios involve being interviewed, public speaking, and other academic roles. 

Assistant Director Mark Graham first started  in 2014 right after former advisor and teacher Mr. Phil White passed down the torch to him. During Graham’s first year, the Academic Decathlon team won most improved. In the third year, they then went on to “score pretty darn high,” Graham said, beating both Thunderbird and Greenway High School.

Mr. Graham also works with Jodie Donner, another assistant advisor  According to Graham, “We call ourselves co-advisors” because of the split duties. As co-advisor, his main goals for the season is to build a full team of nine people. He hopes to see the team achieve an award, but worries about competing against other schools who integrate Academic Decathlon into their curriculum. According to Mr. Graham, it is beneficial for students that our district does not take it as an elective because it can cause burn out. 

Academic Decathlon relates to life skills. For example, Graham said, “It promotes a diversity of learning and gives students a multifaceted that there is so much to learn.” Academic Decathlon alleviates fear of public speaking due to the vast amount of speaking required. 

For the newcomers, Mr. Graham would like to add that Academic Decathlon is a unique club that is “really nice because it fits into your own time schedule.” The club is a good experience and is convenient because it correlates to what one would be learning in school.