Aca Deca places third in county

Raiders take home 14 individual awards!


It is that time of the year again for your annual dose of “look at how awesome our kids are.”

This year was a challenge for CI’s Academic Decathlon team as the format had changed. Instead of A and B teams, it became one school, one team. So I had 13 Honors students competing against each other for the top two scores (the only scores that even are counted) on top of competing against other schools for medals. 

CI also moved quietly up divisions (from 2 to 1), so quietly that we did not even realize it until halfway through the competition. Along with Aca Deca, about nine of our students also had to prepare for Mock Trial. While a majority of the team is a part of multiple clubs and sports, I gave a note for Mock Trial as both of these are very demanding competitions that pretty much overlap each other. 

This year, the Aca Deca theme was American Revolution. Before I share the results, let me take some time to explain what is Aca Deca and the scoring process. It is a 10-event competition: students study 100+ page packets for seven subject tests focused on a central theme, write an essay, perform speeches (prepared and an impromptu speech), and give an interview. 

Each student gets placed in one of three categories based on the GPA of the last two years. Honors consists of students with 3.7 or higher GPAs, Scholastic 3.2-3.6, and Varsity 3.1 and below. They then only compete against those in their category. There are two divisions 1 and 2 (we moved up to Division 1 this year). Students compete only against those in their division and category.

For the overall team score, only the top 2 scores in each category are calculated together. These combined scores are then compared to the top 2 scores from each team. Students can still earn a medal if they earn the highest score in that event. 

Last year, our team ranked 5th place overall and 3rd in our division (Division 2 last year). This year, we not only kept our 3rd place ranking in our division (as I mentioned before, we moved up a division, so this is even more impressive), but we also ranked 3rd overall in the county! This is a first for our team and they are beyond excited. They had fun taking photos with the trophy. While we took home fewer medals than we did last year, it was only expected due to not only the division move but the new format.

We walked away with 14 medals. Here is the following list of the medal winners:

Varsity: Matthew Albavera: 2nd in Science, 3rd in Econ. 

Scholastic: Treeden Bautista: 2nd in Literature; Alma Tolentino: 2nd in Interview, 2nd in Music, 3rd in Art

Honors: Ashley Vargas-Mayo: 2nd in Essay, 2nd in Interview; Roxana Hernandez: 2nd in Essay; Elysia Caliboso: 3rd in Interview; Lorene Camba: 3rd in Art; Angie Rivera-Siler: 1st in Art, 3rd in Literature, the Highest score on the team (she even got a plaque for this!).

Also, a new win for us was that our very own Lyra Cabanban was chosen as the winner of the competition design this year. Her design was used on all the medals, pins, and plaques.

This year, I have many shout-outs to multiple staff members. Thank you all for coming together to help these kids. I know that they all greatly appreciated the gesture. If I forgot your name, please let me know so that I can make sure you get your recognition!  

  • German Figueroa and Miguel Hernandez: I want to give a huge shout-out to these two teachers. Not only did they come in early once a week during zero period for math tutoring, but they would also offered math sessions in the afternoon. Actually, shout out to the whole math department as both Fig and Hernandez mentioned that they would sometimes present one or two of the test problems to the department to figure out the best way to solve/teach. Also, I do appreciate that these guys showed up to our Awards Ceremony. Our team’s 3rd place in Math was seriously thanks to these two. 
  • Yasselle Pena, Dominique Rousseau, Patrick Fernandez, and David Corona: Thank you for volunteering to help with our team’s mock interview run.  The kids were so grateful for the opportunity to be interviewed by someone other than their coach or their teammates
  • Thank you to all the student’s 2nd-period teachers who let them out so that they could take their Essays for the first event of the competition.