After the final rounds of the 2019 Tulare County Academic Decathlon, El Diamante High School Team #2 in Visalia won the championship title and the right to represent the county at the state academic decathlon competition.
Students from eight high schools competed in two school categories – large school and small school – for the chance to advance to the state competition that will take place next month in Sacramento.
The winning team from El Diamante High included Ying Yan, Manuel Hernández, Yibo Liang, Beth Contreras, Micario Rodríguez, Maegan Fiskin, Miguel Rodríguez, and Emily Figueroa. The team is coached by Mikk Jolly.
For senior Miguel Rodriguez, it was his second year taking part of the academic decathlon.
The 17-year-old student won five medals in different events, including a silver medal in speech.
Rodríguez said since the county’s academy decathlon has been dominated by schools in Porterville, it was great to see that one of the teams from El Diamante High won this year.
The competition, a 10-event scholastic competition, took place on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Tulare County Office of Education’s Conference Center in Visalia.
Harmony Magnet Academy (Strathmore) and Woodlake competed in the small school division.
The large school competitors were Dinuba, El Diamante, Granite Hills, Mission Oak, Orosi, and Tulare Western high schools.
El Diamante High’s Team #2 also took captured the Super Quiz, which is the final competitive event of the academic decathlon and is also open to the public.
This year Academic Decathlon theme was ‘The 1960s: A Transformational Decade.’
The small school title went to Harmony Magnet Academy Team #1.
“Few other competitions engage students of various academic levels in the study of so many subject matters,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. “In addition, Academic Decathlon is helping to build writing, communication and speaking skills through its essay, interview and speech competitions – skills that will serve students well into college and career.”
Students tested their knowledge of subjects including economics, social science, mathematics, music, art, language and literature, and science. In addition, the contestants present prepared and impromptu speeches, written essays on given topics and undergo interviews by a panel of judges.
Each team had six to nine members contending in 10 grueling events. The teams were made up of equal numbers – either two or three students – from the following grade point groups: Varsity (0-2.99 GPA), Scholastic (3-3.74 GPA) and Honors (3.75-4 GPA).
Top students by division are: Ying Yan (honors, El Diamante); Manuel Hernández (scholastic, El Diamante) and Gwenyth English (varsity, Granite Hills).