By Alina Issakhanian and Dveen Hagopian
With exceptional rankings in academics, sports teams, and programs, the list of accomplishments our school has achieved is a long one. One of the major factors that makes us such a particularly strong school is our accomplished Academic Decathlon team.
AcaDeca is a national high school competition that assesses students’ knowledge on certain subjects. Students are composed of three separate teams: A, B, and C, but all students work together and devote extensive time and energy to making sure that they train in the seven objective subjects the competition consists of as well as three subjective categories.
While the primary focus of the competition is always changing, each year decathletes must cover the subjects of math, literature, music, art, science, history, and economics. Students participating in the competition must additionally be interviewed, give speeches, and write essays, all within a particular period of time.
Despite the fact that AcaDeca is such a demanding and rigorous competition, our AcaDeca team has consistently achieved a position either among the top teams, or as the #1 team, at a national level.
“It’s a lot about studying and being able to keep yourself on task and work hard and not give up even when things get hard,” junior and new decathlete Kaira Muzila said.
The students on the AcaDeca team are some of our most driven, hard-working students. In order to master all of these subjects, these students must make AcaDeca a priority and dedicate a substantial part of their time to studying for competitions. The workload that they take on is proof of their important and hard to compare student work ethic.
“For me, in general, I like learning about new things and just knowing more. In AcaDeca, we have to study seven different objectives. So, we have to learn about new things, and there is something rewarding about that,” senior and new decathlete Gabriel Compton said.
With all this dedication and constant success from the AcaDeca team, the decathletes are surprisingly not obsessed with numbers and winning. Most ultimately joined for other reasons such as personal development.
However, members of the team do feel some pressure from peers to win Nationals as they have done in past years, though they refuse to allow that get in their way of the learning experience. Some decathletes are even using this pressure as a motivator and to force themselves to do better.
“The primary focus of the team is to make ourselves better people and become better students. So, obviously, while there is pressure because Granada has been winning year after year, and it’s become an expectation that we will win again, I still think that the most important thing is how much we can benefit from the experience,” junior and returning decathlete Dwaipayan Chanda said.
This year’s AcaDeca team will be preparing to compete with the theme “In Sickness and Health: An Exploration of Illness and Wellness.”
On behalf of the school, we wish a fun and successful year to our new Academic Decathlon members and the official team that will be competing.