Academic Decathlon Wins the Day at Annual Competiton

Here, at Pacifica High School, students are offered a wide variety of clubs and activities to join and participate in. One of those activities includes the Academic Decathlon. Contrary to popular belief, the Academic Decathlon is nothing like the one portrayed in Mean Girls. Decathletes are really put to the test as they try to learn a specific topic in the span of only one semester. This year’s Academic Decathlon focused on the 1960s.

As they prepare to compete in the ten events of the county competition, decathletes study 7 subjects based around a theme that changes each year. Aca Deca members also write an essay, give a prepared and impromptu speech, and receive an interview.

Through the hard stress of waking up at an ungodly hour in the morning to trying to remember as much information as possible of the 1960s, students like Aimee Moreno persevere. When asked what the most challenging aspect of being a part of the academic decathlon team was, she claimed it to be “studying and trying to memorize as much information possible.” However, those hard hours of studying paid off at the end as the students excelled in the competition against every school in Ventura County and Calabasas High School. As a result, Pacifica High School placed first in white division for the second time while decathletes were recognized for their respective achievements, earning gold, silver or bronze medals in academic subjects such as Literature, Speech, Essay, Art, Social Science, Economics, Science, and Mathematics.

The gold winners included these spectacular students: Aimee Moreno in Literature, Art, and Music, and Michelle Landeros in Literature and Music. The silver medalists had the following: Christine Vallejo in Economics and Literature, Joel Alferes in Economics and Science, and Jasmine Torres in Art. The bronze winners were as follows: Brittany Salazar in Speech, Jasmine Torres in Music and Social Science, Joel Alferes in Music, and Christine Vallejo in Art and Social Science.

Although joining the Academic Decathlon may seem intimidating, it can be a great way to build strong bonds with people who have similar interests and level of competitiveness as you. As Christine Vallejo stated: “Don’t let the Regina George’s in the world stop you from doing something considered ‘social suicide’ because you never know how rewarding and fulfilling it can actually be.”