Granite Hill’s academic decathlon team meets from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Elisa Lombardi’s classroom. The competition is held in Visalia, California at the Office of Education. (Photo by: Julia Navarrete/October 2, 2012)
The Academic Decathlon team, or better known as Aca Deca team, is more than ready for this year’s competition.
The Academic Decathlon is a competition where students from schools all over the Tulare County districts compete in ten different subject areas. Elisa Lombardi, who is part of the science department at Granite Hills, has also been the Aca Deca teacher for the past four years. This class is an 8th period class that meets from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
This past year, for the first time in ten years, Granite Hills High School’s Aca Deca team did not win first place in the Tulare County competition. Granite’s team earned second place.
Lombardi states she is not ashamed of her team for getting second place; she is proud because her team gave it their best.
"We did very well; I was a little disappointed but I didn't feel so bad because we worked really hard and we studied really hard. I feel like we really gave it our all,” said Lombardi.
This year, the Aca Deca team consists of a total of seven students: Stephen Gutierrez, Devyn Zavala, Santana Alvarez, Michael Simpson. This team includes three returning students who were on the Aca Deca team this past year: Stephanie Torres, Stephanie Hicks, and Roberta Simpson. All these students are studying hard to be prepare for this year’s competition.
“We all work well together and we are trying our best in understanding the material,” said Roberta Simpson.
The competition is held in Visalia, California at the Office of Education. Each year the competition has a theme. Last year the theme was “Age of Empire.” This years the theme is “Russia.” The students will learn about the history, economics, art, and the literature of Russia.
"It’s going to be very exciting and very interesting. The history we will be learning is going to be very rich,” said Lombardi.
The areas students compete in are: super quiz, language and literature, art, music, science, economics, mathematics, speech, interviews, and writing. Each student takes a test on each subject and competes in his or her division.
Students must compete in all of these against other schools in the Tulare County, like their crosstown rivals Porterville High School and Monache High School, Harmony High School in between many others.
“I was part of the team last year, it was so much fun and exciting competing against all these schools,” said Taylor Merritt, Junior at Granite Hills.
Lombardi says that this class helps kids in abundant ways, it enriches students’ minds and it expands the students’ education. Lombardi encourages students to join Aca Deca
"These kids love to learn, so I encourage people to come and see me and join Aca Deca, we always have room for more. It’s so much fun. These kids love to learn Aca Deca shows them teamwork, it opens them up to all kinds of things that they might like to do in college” said Lombardi.