Excellence in Education: Pius X Academic Decathlon sweeps stake competition

Posted By: Megan Conway

mconway@klkntv.com

The Academic Decathlon team at Pius X is sweeping the state competition! Now, their success is taking them to nationals in Alaska.

 “I would contribute it to, honestly, a genuine love of learning on parts of the teachers and on the students. It’s a class they don’t have to take, so if they’re in that class they’re there to learn. It’s very cool because every year there’s a different topic,” says Ann Kotopka, head coach of the Academic Decathlon team.

This year’s topic is India. Each student takes seven tests and has a speech, interview and essay. Then the results are compiled into a team score. The students say the almost 12 hours of tests are difficult, but worth it.

 “It pushes you academically; it expands your horizons; it’s enjoyable; you meet a ton of people and it’s just a good program,” says Henry Jaros, a senior at Pius X.

“In the beginning, it was because I wanted a challenge, and it just became something that is so integral to my high school experience that I couldn’t let it go,” says Catherine Krueger, a senior at Pius X.

This is the third straight year the team won the state competition and is going to nationals. Last year they earned 2nd place, so this year, they’re hoping to win it all.