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GC Academic Decathlon team advances to regional competition

TURTLE LAKE -— Despite winter weather, six Glenwood City High School students traveled to Turtle Lake on Monday, November 10, 2014,  to compete in the local level of the United States Academic Decathlon (USAD). These students, including sophomores Taylor Drinkman, Nic Jensen, Collin Oeltjen, Nicole Peabody, and Jacob Traynor, and junior Sabrina Flettre, scored high enough to qualify for the regional competition, which will take place in Rice Lake on January 9, 2015. GCHS has not competed in USAD in almost 15 years, and this is the first time a team has advanced beyond the local level.

GCHS English Teacher and Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Ann Schneider, recruited students this fall to participate in this academic competition. Though Ms. Schneider had no previous experience with USAD, she found merit in their mission “to promote learning and academic excellence among students of varying achievement levels” in multidisciplinary areas. Molly Ritchie, State Director of the Wisconsin Academic Decathlon chapter, provided the following information about the program:

Wisconsin Academic Decathlon, a national scholastic program currently in 34 states, has begun its 32nd season with a curricular focus on New Alternatives in Energy. One hundred four teams and nearly 1,000 high school students registered to compete in the Local Round of Competition on Monday, November 10, 2014. Ten CESA Districts directed the test sites. All public and private high schools were invited to participate.

Each high school team is comprised of two-three Honor students (3.75-4.00 GPA), two-three students classified as Scholastic (3.00-3.74GPA) and two-three Varsity students (0.00-2.99 GPA).

The Local Round of Academic Decathlon competition consists of multiple-choice written tests. Through the process of competitive elimination, finalist teams are selected from the CESA districts to advance to Regional Competition, where essay, speech and interview components are added. The Study Guide, determined by United States Academic Decathlon (USAD®), includes the following:

• Art — Curriculum includes art fundamentals and will cover innovations in art from the ancient world through the twentieth century.

• Economics — Covers fundamental economic concepts, microeconomics and macroeconomics, plus a thematic section on the economics of energy.

• Literature — Curriculum includes critical reading, eight poems, one short prose work and one long work of literature — Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.

• Mathematics — Curriculum covers general mathematics, geometry and an introduction to differential calculus.

• Music — Curriculum includes basic elements of music theory and will cover innovations in music from the Middle Ages through the modern era.

• Science — Topic will be an introduction to energy conversion and includes a discussion of traditional energy generation, as well as nuclear energy and renewable sources of energy.

• Social Science — Curriculum covers energy policy, the environment, and the new energy economy.

Following Local Competition, qualifying schools advance to the Regional Competition held simultaneously at five host sites on January 9, 2015. Twenty teams will progress to the State Competition in Wisconsin Dells on March 12-13. The state winner will represent Wisconsin at the National Finals April 16-18 in Garden Grove, California.

Established in 1996, awards are granted to A, B & C Regional and State participants in cash and direct scholarships. To date, the Academic Decathlon Program has offered over $1,000,000 in scholarships.

GCHS Academic Decathlon Advisor, Ann Schneider, is excited that the six students have taken the opportunity to challenge themselves and wish to congratulate them on their hard work and continued success.