Battle of Wits

Makayla Thomas, News Editor

Sharon Spiers, the health and yoga teacher here at San Juan Hills High School, is also the coach for our Academic Decathlon team. She has been coaching for two years and was even on her academic decathlon team in high school.
The 9th and 10th grade team won first place last year and the 11th and 12th grade team won third place overall. The Academic Decathlon looks great on college applications, but not everyone can join. The team takes three students with a GPA over 3.75, three with a 3.0-3.75, and three students with a 2.99 or lower.
“The Academic Decathlon is a great program for kids who are bright and who want to challenge themselves” said Spiers.
Every year the Academic Decathlon receives a theme to study for the competitions, and this year it is Russia. On the first day of the competition, they have to write an essay in either Russian literature or economics. In addition, students are asked a series of questions in an interview.
They are required to give two speeches. One is 3 ½ to 4 minutes long, the second is about 1 ½ to 2 minutes long and is an impromptu speech. Under the category of Russia, the second day of competition consists of seven tests which are math, literature, music, art, science, history, and economics.
The competitions are a total of 2 days that fall on January 26 and February 2. The team finds out the results on February 12.
“[The Decathlon] enables learning to be more fun to students. [It] also prepares you for future events, like a job interview. It’s an opportunity for people to come out of the box and a great way to make new friends,” said Lily Pham, senior and team member of the Academic Decathlon