Click on picture to enlarge. This story was submitted by Kim McNair, a spokesperson for St. Raymond School.
St. Raymond, a Catholic K-8 school in Menlo Park, plans to send 14 of its seventh- and eighth-graders to compete in the California Catholic Schools Academic Junior High Decathlon on Saturday (March 6) at St. Pius School in Redwood City.
The Academic Decathlon consists of 10 events. Two are collaborative team efforts -- a logic quiz with 20 thinking problems, and a super quiz with 50 multiple-choice questions on five academic themes.
The remaining eight events test individual knowledge of the Roman Catholic doctrine, English, literature, science, mathematics, current events, social studies, and fine arts (art and music).
Awards are given for individual and team performance. The winning school team from each geographic diocese competes in a state championship the first Saturday of May each year.
The St. Raymond students are James Albera, Sarah Banks, Joseph Diaz, Colleen Hamilton, Lucas Lonergan, Cecilla Marshall, Molly Quinton, Yasmine El-Hage, Fiona Jackson, Celia Kelly, Caoimhe MacRunnels, Sarah Scannell, Katherine Yancey and Marifer McCavitt.
They meet to study before school four days a week and for five Saturdays prior to the event. Each competitor has a coach that specializes in a different area of expertise.
"This competition is only for the self-motivated student who is willing to take great academic risks with no guarantee of winning," said Patrick Sullivan, junior high teacher and Academic Decathlon coach. "The rewards come from the long nights, the camaraderie, the understanding of new concepts, the personal growth, and the self-awareness that the student has grown not only academically, but also as a human being who loves to learn."