Woodlake Decathlete in the Top 10

Woodlake High School was among nine high schools to compete in the Tulare County Academic Decathlon on Feb. 6. And while they didn’t stand on the podium, at least one Tiger took home a gold medal in one event.

Woodlake’s Katherine Pfaff was the top scorer in the “speech” category of the 10-event competition held at the new Tulare County Office of Education building on Mooney Boulevard.

During the Academic Decathlon, each team has six to nine members contending in 10 grueling events. The teams are made up of equal numbers (either two or three students) from the following grade point groups: Varsity (0-2.99 GPA), Scholastic (3-3.74 GPA) and Honors (3.75-4 GPA). Team members test their knowledge of subjects including economics, social science, mathematics, music, art, language and literature, and science. In addition, the contestants present prepared and impromptu speeches, written essays on given topics and undergo interviews by a panel of judges.

“Academic Decathlon is a very competitive event with some strong rivalries among our schools.  I particularly enjoy the level of friendly competition and excitement that always surrounds the Super Quiz finale,” says Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak.

The top students in each of the other nine Academic Decathlon categories were:

Art, Daniel Seyedebrahimi, El Diamante High School; Economics, Daniel Seyedebrahimi, El Diamante High School; Literature, Erica Huerta, Granite Hills High School; Math, Forrest Johnson, El Diamante High School; Music, Daniel Seyedebrahimi, El Diamante High School; Science, Daniel Seyedebrahimi, El Diamante High School; Social Science, Daniel Seyedebrahimi, El Diamante High School; Essay, Isaac Flores, Granite Hills High School; Interview, was a tie between Isaiah Woodard, Tulare Western High School and Andrea Ross, Tulare Union High School.

Pfaff’s Tiger teammate, Andy Garcia, took home the honor of top student for Woodlake High School. For Harmony Magnate Academy in Strathmore, that honor went to Jacob Olmos. But neither Woodlake nor Harmony was the top school in the small school category. Orosi High School holds that distinction as the Cardinals Team A finished with a score of 28,566.4. Orosi’s Team A also won the Super Quiz competition.

The academic relay known as the oral “Super Quiz” is the final competitive event. Questions in this year’s Super Quiz topic are related to the national theme of India. Students may face questions about India’s art and architecture, music, literature, history and contributions to science and mathematics.

Granite Hills High School in Porterville finished with a score of 37,704.8, the top score for a large school team and the highest score among all teams in the competition. The high score means that Granite Hills will have the honor of representing Tulare County at the California Academic Decathlon competition held March 17-20 in Sacramento.

For more information about the Academic Decathlon, contact Laura Voshall at (559) 651-3044.

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