For a record-setting eighth consecutive year, Sacramento's St. Ignatius Parish School is the winner of the Sacramento Junior High Academic Decathlon. No other school, in the 26-year history of the event has achieved this unprecedented success.
The Academic Decathlon is a grueling competition among 24 schools throughout the greater Sacramento region. The day-long event culminated in a 50-question Super Quiz, where students test their knowledge in five subject areas: science, social studies, literature, fine art, and religion. In addition to its unparalleled winning streak, St. Ignatius is the first school in decathlon history to have achieved a perfect score in this event.
"We are so proud of our students, coaches, and parents," said school principal Patty Kochis. "As a Jesuit parish school, out students are taught to live the Magis, which means to do more, especially in serving others. Our decathlon team definitely did more. Literally thousands of hours were spent preparing for this day, and we are honored to represent Sacramento at the statewide competition."
Another important challenge is a 20-question logic exam where team members must work together to analyze mathematical problems. The contest also includes eight individual events which test student understanding of current events, English, literature, science, mathematics, social studies, fine arts, and Roman Catholic doctrine.
"This experience teaches the students so much," explained team coach Elisa Arostegui. "It's not just about winning. It's about working hard individually, but more importantly as a team. The problem-solving and analytical skills the students learn through this process will help them as they enter high school and throughout their lives." The Academic Decathlon is modeled after the Olympics, designed to stimulate academic achievement and honor "athletes of the mind." Like the decathlon of the ancient Greeks, the Academic Decathlon consists of exacting and exciting events.
The St. Ignatius team will head to the statewide decathlon championship on April 18th which will be held this year in Sacramento at Sacred Heart School.