To be eligible for the state meet the Academic Decathlon team, who have been studying throughout the year, will compete at the regional meet on Feb. 8 and 9 at Martin High School.
“We made a game plan of what we are going to do to study and I set up deadlines for them on the (exam) topics,” AP history teacher and academic decathlon sponsor Dawn Welch said. “Sometimes I’ll teach the topics to them. Sometimes if I’m not good at teaching them that’s when I find teachers who can do it for me.”
Sponsor and history teacher Tanya Richards and Welch facilitate the Acadec class and ensure all the curriculum resources needed are available to the students. They also get help from outside sources when needed.
“We have had Ms. Alloway come in and interview students, Dr. Harmon taught us about politics in the 60s and Mr. Kadekawa is running an optics lab for us so we can learn more about lasers,” Welch said. “We’ve been relying on other teachers to help us learn the categories that we don’t know very well.”
Acadec is a team, international club and class that competes in ten events, including science, interview and economics.
“On our campus, students take the class to help them grow not only as intellectuals,” Richards said. “We try to provide them with chances to grow socially and emotionally.”
The theme of this year’s Acadec competition is the 1960s. At the regional meet, students will each take seven written tests on specific topics during the decade, deliver speeches, write an essay and participate in a judged interview.
“I always look forward to seeing the students’ hard work pay off and the ones that really studied hard, I love seeing them rewarded,” Richards said. “It’s heartwarming to see them.”
Not only will students compete during the meet, but officers and alternates will attend to support fellow members.
“It is really fun,” Academic Decathlon president and senior Nosa Omorotionmwan said. “The people who aren’t competing are there just in case anything happens like someone can’t show up or compete. There is always someone who is going to be immediately there.”
If the students place as one of the top scoring teams at the regional meet, then they will advance to the state competition in spring at San Antonio.
“I am excited for the opportunity to represent Mansfield High School,” junior and competing student Juliana Neniel said. “ (I look most forward to) winning and going to state.”