Students from three high schools in the Mother Lode region recently participated in the 45th Annual Mother Lode Regional Academic Decathlon. The event, held at Columbia College on February 3, 2024, featured Bret Harte High School from Angels Camp, Summerville High School from Tuolumne, and Tioga High School from Groveland. The competition was a celebration of intellect and hard work, showcasing the academic strength and competitive spirit of the participating students.
Summerville High School emerged as the champion, clinching the top spot with an impressive combined score of 30,542.73 points. Joshua Kepner of Summerville High led the charge as the overall high scorer for the second year in a row. Bret Harte High School followed with a commendable second place, securing a combined score of 26,012.01 points.
The decathlon, a rigorous ten-event academic program, aims to cultivate a deeper respect for knowledge and encourage healthy academic rivalry among schools. With a diverse range of subjects, including art, economics, and science, alongside tests of communication skills such as essay writing, interviews, and speeches, the competition was fierce. This year’s theme, “Technology & Humanity,” challenged students to think critically about the role of technology in our lives.
Participants were divided into Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity divisions, ensuring a level playing field that recognized the efforts of students across all academic levels. The Super Quiz – an event open to public viewing – was thrilling, with families and friends cheering on as students raced against the clock.
The competition also highlighted the importance of community involvement, with over 35 volunteers contributing their time and expertise to the event’s success. This collective effort underscored the event’s significance, not just as a platform for academic challenge but also as a community builder.
As the top teams from Bret Harte and Summerville High prepare to advance to the state competition in Santa Clara, the excitement continues to build. The state champions will have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the national stage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, later this year.
The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools office congratulates all participants for their outstanding achievements. The dedication, perseverance, and enthusiasm displayed by the students are a testament to the bright future of our community.
As we applaud the winners and their mentors, the Superintendent of Schools also extends a heartfelt thank you to the community volunteers whose commitment makes the Academic Decathlon a resounding success year after year.
Coordinator, Student Events