Most Viewed Stories
High schools meet for Academic Decathlon in Yuma
A team of nine students from Cibola High School placed fifth at the 2013 Regional III U.S. Academic Decathlon (USDA) competition recently held in Yuma.
Of the 17 high schools from across southern Arizona that competed, the team from Canyon del Oro High School of Tucson received first place. Coached by Chris Yetman, the trio of Jacob Rockland, Alex Molina, and Rose Booth bested the second place team of contestants from Marana.
In addition to Cibola, other schools from the local area that placed in the contest included Gila Ridge High School at 10th place, Yuma High School at 15th place and Kofa High School at 16th place.
Divided into honors, scholastic and varsity level categories, the students were judged by over 150 members of the community, including Capt. Staci Reidinger, director of MCAS public affairs office, and 18 Marines of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Judges evaluated students based on their range of knowledge and ability to evaluate what they know and organize and communicate their thoughts.
“Students compete and are evaluated in a wide-ranging matrix of disciplines that are purposely designed to identify their skills in future leadership,” said Dr. Frank Kidd, who worked as a judge and a test proctor during the event. “Competitive evaluation includes student's recall of specific knowledge of a broad range of topics. Students also are rated for their ability to express themselves in both written and oral formats and to communicate their understanding and expertise on world affairs.”
The competition was themed around Russia this year and included examinations in art, music, language and literature, mathematics, economics, science and social science. Communication tests include writing an essay, delivering a prepared and an impromptu speech, and being interviewed.
“Participating in academic decathlon helps prepare students for life by stressing hands-on learning of life skills and work ethic,” Kidd said. “The expectation to learn materiel above and beyond their high school coursework and learning how to work together as a team and support each other can greatly improve a student's high school experience.”
Kidd shared that past Decathlon students that graduated from local high schools include people like Jonathan Bass, who is currently serving as a member of the U.S. Department of State in the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India; Adam Flynn, a graduate of Princeton; Sam Schilders, a service member in the Coast Guard; and Robert Clark, a service member with the U.S. Air Force.