Congressman Congratulates AcaDeca Champions


The Academic Decathlon team listens to a congratulatory speech from Congressman George Miller.

Sarada Symonds, Editor-in-Chief

United States Congressman George Miller visited campus in part to recognize the Academic Decathlon team on their National Championship win.  Miller met with members of the squad in the library on May 12.

According to Academic Decathlon coach Paul Verbanzsky, Miller is a strong proponent of education, and was one of the writers of the No Child Left Behind act. “Education has always been on his radar, and he wanted to congratulate the nationals team,” he said.

“When he walked into the library, it had a huge impact. Everyone was just talking and hanging out, and when he walked in, even the most talkative students stopped and just stood there,” Verbanzsky said. “Everyone was mesmerized by his charisma.”

After a brief congratulatory speech, Miller spoke individually to members of the club. Seniors Zach Scheer and Christoff Steefel explained more about the competition to the Congressman, and then Miller met team members and asked them various questions about Academic Decathlon. He also awarded the team with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, which the school plans to display, according to Verbanzsky.

Several Red and Blue team members from the Academic Decathlon club attended the event. Students were excused from 5th period, and those taking the AP Physics exam were offered the chance to take the make-up in order to be present for Miller’s visit.

Senior Sam McAdams spoke with the Congressman during his visit. “He asked us about Academic Decathlon, and how it relates to the world in general, how it relates to what’s happening in Russia,” McAdams said. “It was nice seeing someone from Congress, someone from outside our small community, taking an interest in Acadeca.”

Senior Nick Flemming also enjoyed the Congressman’s visit, and took photographs of the event. “He has this presence. He was mostly talking to [team captains] Tristan Caro and Uma Gaffney, and connecting with the rest of the team through them. He got really personal, and just went around the room, talking to everyone,” he said.

“It was really an honor to have him come in to meet us,” Verbanzsky said.

Verbanzsky also added how proud he was of the team. “It was really great to see how the team has come from their freshman year.  I’m especially proud of all the Seniors, for putting all this hard work in,” he said.