AcDec Makes History


photo courtesy: Curry Goff

Sophomores Gregory Brashear, Ramy Triki and and Senior Xander Corcoran pose with their Academic Decathlon medals at the state meet where Triki placed fourth overall individually.

Academic Decathlon placed fourth in state with the highest overall team score of 45,698 points on Feb. 26. This is AcDec’s highest finish in school history. Along with the whole team’s victory there were individual students with successes. 

Sophomore Ramy Triki placed fourth overall. Triki joined AcDec a week after the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year after a friend recommended it. Going up against upperclassmen who had a few months more of practice seemed impossible, but he made the seemingly impossible possible.

“For the first month or two I didn’t really know what was going on,” he said. “I was just kind of learning the material until that first competition and that’s when I realized what was going on.”

Starting in May the AcDec team gets their curriculum for the following school year’s competitions. Over the summer and throughout the fall semester they study and prep for 10 subjects they will be going over in these competitions. This past year’s topic was Water: A Most Essential Resource, and all 10 subjects surrounded that topic. 

“So decathlon is 10 subjects. Seven of those they take a test on,” Curry Goff, science teacher and AcDec coach, said. “There’s math, music, science, economics, literature, social science and art. Then they also give a speech, do an interview and write an essay.”

Students in AcDec have a schedule to follow in order to best learn the material. Tuesday and Thursdays are used to focus on literature, art and social science. Monday and Wednesdays are used to focus on music, math, science and economics. On Fridays students work on speeches, interviews and essays. 

U.S. History Teacher and Academic Decathlon Coach Cheryl Chupe helps her AcDec students focus on literature, art and social science. She shared that they have already started reading the novel for next year, “Wieland” by Charles Brockden Brown, an American gothic novel.

“It is a lot of work,” Chupe said. “But we have a blast and are honestly like family.”

Ramy hopes to do even better in next year’s competitions, though he is proud of his accomplishments thus far. 

“I feel like I could’ve done better. I’m looking forward to next year and hopefully placing a lot higher,” Triki said. “I’ve definitely done my fair share of bragging about it.”

Both AcDec coaches are proud of their students and accomplishments. Many other AcDec students brought back great successes and wins. The year prior AcDec had finished fifth overall, but this year’s overall team score was the highest they have ever had.

“Five years ago we were in the top 10 for the first time and every year we’ve just gotten better and better,” Goff said. “Being fourth this year we’re just super proud of all the hard work that they put in. Really proud of them.”

Going into the competition Ramy had nerves about it. All the time spent learning the curriculum extensively to finally be applied. Ramy Triki took home several medals and an overall score of 9,074 total points.

“I was definitely nervous because that’s what it all culminated to,” he said. “I was definitely wanting to do my best. I wanted to make use of what I learned and I didn’t want to mess up. I wanted to make my friends and family proud.”