Last weekend, teams from Jefferson, Kennedy, and Washington High Schools competed in the State Academic Decathlon, showcasing their hard work and intellect. Each team emerged victorious, winning several medals and ready to celebrate their accomplishments.

For those unfamiliar with the Academic Decathlon, these competitions test students in ten areas: art, economics, essay, interviewing, literature, mathematics, social science, science, speech, and music. All questions are centered around a common theme. This year’s theme is “Technology and Humanity.” All team members must participate in all ten events, which include multiple-choice tests, speeches, interviews, and essays. Preparation for this rigorous competition begins in August and includes weekly study sessions throughout the year, totaling an estimated 600-800 hours of studying.

Kennedy’s Academic Decathlon team secured 2nd place overall in the state competition, marking their best result in over five years. Team members also walked away with gold medals in the math, speech, and music categories. This achievement earned them the opportunity to participate in the online National Academic Decathlon Competition in April. Kennedy’s team includes Tori Paga, Charity Oduor, Samuel Sanders-Licher, Malick Sogur, Sarah Martin Trainor, Hayley Faust, Sophie Cobert, Katie Hubbs, and CJ FitzPatrick.

Washington High School made an impressive return to the competition after not competing since 2020 and earned 4th place in their division. Individual team members also brought home gold medals in the interview, literature, and Overall Scholastic Alternate categories. Washington was also invited to compete in the online National Academic Decathlon Competition. Members of Washington’s team are Amaris McFarland, Annika Perez, Courtney Willis, Gabrielle Moffat, Kaydance Barnes, Preston Longwisch, Reagan Stock, Rya McFarland, and Shelby Parmer.

However, it was Jefferson High School’s team who stole the top honors, clinching the state championship. The team not only received 50 out of the 90 individual medals but also claimed 8 out of 9 overall individual awards. Sophomore Avery Murray also emerged as the highest scorer in the state. This win marks Jefferson’s 24th consecutive state academic decathlon title. The team moves on to the in-person National Academic Decathlon Competition in Pittsburgh in April. Jefferson Team members include Joseph Heeren, Sydney Proctor, Avery Murray, Ethan Caton, Ali Hardy, Tristan Cassady, Ian Shanstrom, Finlay Kelley, Killian Schlotfelt, and Kelly Morgan.

Congratulations to all of our teams, and best of luck at the Nationals!