Sonora, CA—Between January 18 and February 4, 2023, students from three Mother Lode high schools competed in the 44th Annual Mother Lode Regional Academic Decathlon Competition. Participating high schools included Bret Harte High School from Angels Camp, Summerville High School from Tuolumne, and Tioga High School from Groveland. The event was coordinated through the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools office in Sonora and was held at Sonora High School in Sonora.
The ten-event academic program strives to foster a greater respect for knowledge, to promote wholesome inter-school academic competition, and to further develop student communication skills. Subject tests included art, economics, language and literature, music, science, math, and social science, and subjective testing included an essay, an interview, and a prepared and an impromptu speech. The theme of this year’s event was “The American Revolution and the New Nation.”
A unique aspect of the Academic Decathlon is that it includes students from all academic abilities and achievement levels. Students are placed in an Honors division, a Scholastic division, or a Varsity division based on the student’s grade point average. Each team member competes in all ten events against other students in their divisions. However, team scores are calculated using the top two individual scores from each division to arrive at an overall team score.
The top nine students from each school also competed against each other in the Super Quiz. The Super Quiz is the only part of the testing event that was open for the public to observe, and it was one of the most memorable and exciting parts of the Academic Decathlon competition.
Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded for individual events and total scores. Overall individual winners were recognized, as were the champion teams.
The overall winners in each event were:
- Art: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
- Economics: Delaney Lenihan, Bret Harte
- Essay: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
- Interview: Mark Fleming, Bret Harte
- Language and Literature: Todd Leslie, Summerville
- Math: Dana Brandau, Tioga
- Music: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
- Science: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
- Social Science: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
- Speech: Sophia Bouma, Bret Harte
For the 44th Annual Mother Lode Regional Decathlon, the overall winning team was Summerville High School with a combined score of 30,133.0 points. Bret Harte High School finished second in the overall standings, with a combined score of 27,314.5 points. These two regional champions will compete in the state competition from March 11 through March 26, 2023, in Santa Clara. The state champions are then eligible to compete at the national finals that will take place April 13 – 28, 2022 in Frisco, Texas.
Teams are coached by: Jennifer Truman at Bret Harte High School, Ken Favell at Summerville High School, and Emily Hanchett at Tioga High School.
The Regional Academic Decathlon relies on community volunteers to read and score the essays, proctor the Super Quiz, and conduct and score the speech and interview portions of the competition. At this year’s event, over 35 community volunteers participated.
The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools congratulates all of the decathletes for their accomplishments, and thanks the community for their continued support in this important event.