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Academic Decathletes prepare for annual county competition on Feb. 6

LAKE COUNTY – Some of the county's most talented and hardworking students are gearing up for Lake County’s 30th annual Academic Decathlon.

The academic challenge will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Upper Lake Union High School’s Multi-Purpose Room.

The portion of the competition open to the public begins at 4 p.m.

Upper Lake High School, last year’s winning team, went on to compete in the state competition in Sacramento. The state competition for 2010 also will be held in Sacramento from March 12 through 15.

The decathlon is designed to rigorously test academic skills.

The theme for 2009-2010 is “French Revolution.”

The teams consist of three divisions – Honor, Varsity and Scholastic.

Coaches for this year’s event are Nancy Harby, Lower Lake High School; Ryan Callen, Middletown High School; and Anna Sabalone and Steve Harness, Upper Lake High School.

Sponsored by the Lake County Office of Education, the competition this year will match the following teams:

  • Lower Lake High School, Team 1: Justin Harrison (H), Elizabeth Perkins (H), Alyssa McCosker (H), Joe Riggs (S), Corey Cherrington (S), Victoria Hanners (S), Kenneth Cates (V), Spence Hadden (V), Carina Ruedas (V); alternate includes Stephen Whitcomb.

  • Lower Lake High School, Team 2: Teodora Toshich (H), Bianey Madrigal (H), Cesar Ruiz (H), Sean Grant (S), Carla Martinez (S), Leslie Sweeden (S), Gerald Skinner (V), Samantha Weatherly (V), Shawn McAlister (V).

  • Middletown High School: Nick Speridon III (H), Seamus O’Herlihy (H), Jolon Cisneros (H), Donald Albright (S), Terry Marley (S), Haley Tallman (V), Melinda Dixon (V) Nicole Lawrence (V), Julia Rebolledo (V); alternate includes Breeann McKnight.

  • Upper Lake High School: Courtney Havrilla (H), Laura Wold (H), Justine Moran (H), Ian Weber (S), Roy Hankins (S), Devin Hoyt (S), Ben Mullin (V), Tiffany Criss (V), Cameron Beighle (V); alternates include Yessica Ayala, Jose Ruiz Olguin, Megan Morgan and Sean Gay.

“The decathletes began preparing for this event in May of 2009 and have been heavily involved in team study groups since September, when the last of the study materials were sent to the schools,” said Academic Decathlon Coordinator Robin Totorica.

The first portion of the competition is the essay, which was administered to students on Friday. The second portion of the competition is the interview, speech and impromptu, which is scheduled for Jan. 27 through 29 at the Lake County Office of Education in Lakeport.

On Saturday, Feb. 6, the students will compete in seven written tests, consisting of language/literature, arts, social science, math, music, economics and a written portion of the super quiz.

“The event is free and open to the public and this year should be another exciting evening filled with lots of anticipation. Please come and support your school/team,” Totorica said.

The super quiz relay and awards ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. Feb. 6 at Upper Lake Union High School’s gymnasium and will feature entertainment by Upper Lake High School students.

Dave Geck, Lake County Superintendent of Schools, will welcome the participants. Patrick Iaccino, Upper Lake Union High School District Superintendent/Principal will host the super quiz event.

School officials presenting awards to their students at the awards ceremony are Jeff Dixon, principal at Lower Lake High; Bill Roderick, principal at Middletown High; and Pat Iaccino, district superintendent/principal at Upper Lake Union High School.

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