The Memorial Academic Decathlon team from left to right bottom row Eric Escobedo, Sarah Rodriguez, Andrew Mendoza, Kassandra Maldonado and Chandrey Phum. Middle row Toni Ward, Sherwin Philip, Jennifer Le, Denise Martinez and Abiya Antony. Back row coach Jeremy Maduzia, Cassidy Urdiales, Nick Glenn and Sean Ahmad.
Dobie decathletes Bill Huynh and Adrian De Los Santos study together.
The Dobie and Memorial Academic Decathlon teams represented Pasadena ISD in the state competition last month, following several wins at the Region 5 tournament.
Dobie’s coach and former decathlon competitor, Steven Higginbotham, said Dobie’s continued success in the program is the product of hard work.
“Decathlon is probably the most time consuming academic activity a student can be involved in,” Higginbotham said. “They come in on weekends and as much as two hours after school most days.”
The Academic Decathlon promotes student achievement and learning by challenging students in various academic subjects. Teams are comprised of up to nine students who represent different grade point divisions. The group studies decathlon curricula and competes against other schools. There is a series of 10 events including an interview in front of judges, a written essay, speeches, a written comprehensive exam in math, social science, economics, literature, art, music and the Super Quiz.
The overall goal of decathlon is to teach participants the value of teamwork, leadership and time management.
“My favorite part of academic decathlon is working together as a team,” said Andrew Mendoza, Memorial decathlon team member. “I think as much as it is an individual competition, preparing and studying is a collaborative effort. No matter what, we can always strive to do better.”
Memorial decathlon coach Jeremy Maduzia led the team to a fifth place win at the regional competition, the campus’ first state qualifying win in four years.
“Starting out we made a goal to place in the top 5 at the regional competition and go to state,” Maduzia said. “I stressed the fact that while I’m the coach, the students were the ones responsible for studying and learning the content. We worked the kids really hard this year and it paid off for us.”
Both teams have already started preparing for next year’s competition with the topic World War II.
The Dobie Academic Decathlon team Bill Huynh, Steven Nguyen, Noelle Phan, Coach Steven Higginbotham, Martin Nguyen, Rey Aguilar, Tareen Kazi, Noe Garcia, Christine Perry and Adrian De Los Santos.