The United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) is a non-profit organization that aims to inspire all kinds of students to push boundaries and learn more than they ever have before. Their main goal is to promote learning and academic excellence, as well as to provide a platform for students to excel and grow through competition. The program defines some of its core values as challenging and multi-disciplinary.
Hamilton’s Academic Decathlon team (ACDEC) recently dominated their state competitors, including one of the school’s most notable rivals, Canyon Del Oro. The intense competition lasted two full days and consisted of rigorous testing and interviews with judges covering a broad range of subjects. Hamilton student Melina Chabolla describes the victory: “It was terrifying, but it felt so good. This year was definitely one of the closest, and they’ve beaten us the past few years, so it was finally our year.” In the past, Hamilton’s team has struggled with making it to Nationals, despite ranking high in competition – this is a huge accomplishment for our Huskies!
Students who choose to join and compete in ACDEC make a huge commitment, as the work and study load is famously intensive. Member Tyler Thornton says, “The entire month before [competition], our team had three-hour long meetings almost every day after school. There are seven sections, we just focused on one subject at a time to get through it.” The amount of dedication it takes to prepare for an ACDEC competition is extraordinary, and not for the faint of heart.
Our Huskies will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota for their National Competition, and they’re sure to put their all into it!
2018-19 Hamilton STATE CHAMPIONS: Jake Nance, Aris Zhu, Jasmine Sun, Zuzia Stechly, Emma Keegan, Navaneeth Unnikrishnan, Emily Jefferson, Melina Chabolla, and Tyler Thornton