Academic Decathlon places highest in years

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The Academic Decathlon team competed on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 against 38 other schools in Los Angeles County and placed seventh, improving 13 places from last year and winning 35 medals.

The club previously did not have enough members in one of the GPA brackets. Since the team was able to send a full team this year, it set a goal to qualify for the state competition.

“We were able to get a full team with many strong competitors to participate in the county competition,” senior President Michelle Vuong said. “While working closely with the teams from Mark Keppel and Alhambra, there was a potential for all schools to qualify for state.”

To achieve its goal, the club invited a teacher to lecture and created study resources. 

“[The club] took more tests and even asked Mr. Gin to help with economics,” senior Vice President Cindy Tu said. “At one point, the team made presentations on certain topics to help inform other competitors.”

Out of all the study methods, Junior Joseph Pandur found that quizzing other members was the most effective.

“Quizzing peers [is the best method] because you get two things done at once,” Pandur said. “One is you get to review material and two, you get to learn more about your teammates and build stronger bonds.”

The results of the competition were announced on Feb. 6. Junior Sophia Ng won three medals in art, mathematics, and essay. 

“I’m happy about getting the medals, but the best reward was just being in the team,” Ng said. “When our team’s place jumped up, I was happy to be with my other teammates cheering.”

Vuong said the team grew by forming a stronger bond not only with each other but also between teams from Alhambra High School (AHS) and Mark Keppel High School (MKHS).

“The camaraderie [was] strong between SGHS decathletes,” Vuong said, “but the team grew to include both AHS and MKHS decathletes to strive towards a common goal, which is to bring AUSD to the state competition. We managed to pull through in the end, and I am extremely proud of my team for their dedicated commitment.”

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