The Diocese of Orange held its 23rd Academic Decathlon for students in grades 6-8. Schools within the Diocese have been participating in this rigorous program since 1997. The Academic Decathlon is under the guiding jurisdiction of the California Catholic State Superintendents Curriculum Committee.
Five goals of the Academic Decathlon Program are: 1) to promote academic excellence, 2) to promote collaborative spirit and cooperative learning skills, 3) to promote logical and higher-order thinking, 4) to recognize the contribution of parents, teachers, school administrators, business and community members in supporting high standards for all students, and 5) to celebrate diversity, excellence, and tradition of Catholic schools.
Ten total events take place within the one-day competition. Two of the events are collaborative. Team efforts include the 8,000 points Logic Quiz and the 8,000 points Super Quiz. The other eight events are individual events that are each worth 1,000 points including Religion, English and Spelling, Literature, Science, Mathematics, Current Events, Social Studies, and Fine Arts (Art and or Music).
Decathletes and their families, coaches, and fans plan for a full-day program at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. The morning began with Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen, Fr. Duy Le, Fr. Brandon Dang, and Deacon Carl Swanson at San Francisco Solano Church in Rancho Santa Margarita. In his homily, Bishop Nguyen shared that in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, the ultimate goal is to “become like Jesus.”
The Parish School at St. Edward (Dana Point) won 1st place overall with 20,240 points, followed by St. Francis of Assisi School (Yorba Linda) with 19,825 points, St. Cecilia School (Tustin) with 17,675 points, and St. Junipero Serra Catholic School (Rancho Santa Margarita) with 17,065 points.
The Parish School at St. Edward will represent the Diocese of Orange at the State of California academic decathlon competition in San Francisco in April. The Parish School has taken six state champions six times: 2007, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018.
Participation in this program requires focus, commitment, and perseverance. Students must be motivated to study independently as well as working [Text Wrapping Break]collaboratively with their team. Students are still expected to maintain their regular school responsibilities including homework, projects, and other school assignments.
The Diocese of Orange also congratulates category winners: St. Cecilia School for Logic Quiz, Lindsey Hughes of The Parish School for Current Events, Samantha Cotter of The Parish School for English, Audrey Crafts of The Parish School for Fine Arts, Emily Eslan of St. Francis of Assisi School for Literature, Gian Dhingra of The Parish School for Math, Cara Babin of St. Bonaventure School for Religion, Abdiel Maldonado of St. Anne Parish School for Science, Donovan Harris of The Parish School for Social Studies, Tessa Petro of St. Catherine of Siena School for Writing.