Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts

2018 Academic Decathlon Gears Up

Just the Facts, Maam, Just the Facts

The 2018 Academic Decathlon was excited about the taping of the Academic Challenge T.V. show, and how the “academic train” was rolling along. Today, we are here to inform you that the “academic train” is still rolling along, as West G.’s Academic Decathlon (ACADEC) team is trying hard to win more than the 63 medals we won last year.

Led by social studies teacher Mr. Ben Speros, the ACADEC team consists of 12 experienced members, as well as some new members to help grow the team and fill the spots vacated by the seniors who graduated last year: Angela Volcensek and David Delacruz. The new seniors this year include Alex Novitski, Antonio Linek, Mary Fahey, Zach Bobango, and Mariana Valdez-Punales.

As the years progresses, as a team, we will be reviewing many 100+ page packets, one each from the 7 subject areas, containing information about this year’s topic. The topic for this year is the 1960’s, and the book Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. The information is going to be tested at both the regional competition in January, as well as the state competition later in the year.

In addition to West Geauga, other academically strong schools like Willoughby South, Eastlake North, and Oakwood High School also compete.

This year something new is happening to ACADEC that has never occurred before. “This year team members will receive academic credit for ACADEC, but will also be assessed on their knowledge and reading.  They will [be] graded,” said Speros. ACADEC will be considered an “independent study” course and, hopefully, soon, an honors – level course.

So why is ACADEC, now, being considered a course and not a club? What can the students gain from being a member of this team? Why is ACADEC so important? Speros responded, “Two things.  First, AcaDec is open to students of all academic levels.  Unlike some academic competitions such as Quiz Bowl and Academic Challenge, the “smartest” students only make up 1/3rd of the team.  We want students who get B’s and C’s because, without them, we can’t compete.  No other program does that.  Also, AcaDec really pushes students to move beyond those things they are comfortable with.  Students need to know a lot about a lot of subjects.  In addition, the speech portions built public speaking skills.  All of these things are important for college and the professional world.”

Although the team might seem fully stocked, we are always looking for new members to join. There are no requirements to be on the team. We are especially looking for freshman and sophomores, but we will take anyone in any grade.

The ACEDEC team this year is focusing harder than ever before to study the material and be extra prepared for the competitions. We are very proud of our teammates for work in years past, and we are excited to see what they have in store this year.