Academic Team Competes Independently

Genie Lee, Lifestyle Editor

While the district’s Academic Decathlon program no longer receives funds from the county, and no longer has individual teams representing each of its 4 campuses, Campolindo’s participants will compete this year as part of an independent club.

According to adviser and AP European history teacher Paul Verbanszky, the team’s current status has “made it a little less exciting for students because we’re not actually competing with schools like Acalanes, Miramonte, and Los Lomas the same way.”

Instead, the team competes against other independent clubs in the east and south bay. “Acalanes does have a team but they didn’t want to compete with us specifically and so some of the attendance has dropped because it’s not the same kind of immediate gratification of competing against other schools in our district. However, it is still very well attended and we have well over, almost 38, 39 students,” said Verbanszky.

Senior co-captain Lili Heutmaker, who is a 3 year veteran of the team, said, “I think the main thing is we need to get funding from other places. This year, we’re planning a trivia night which is gonna end up probably being sometime in January or February to raise money.”

According to Heutmaker, “we can still go to state as a freelance team if we make a certain amount of points because now we’re competing against schools from all across the area, particularly from Southern California, which is kind of like a powerhouse of Acadeca. So even if we don’t place 1st in the actual tournament for regionals, which hopefully we will, we can still go to state if we have enough points,” she said.

The team recently participated in the Round 1 competition, testing their knowledge of art and literature, on October 11.

According to senior Stephen Chilimidos, Round 1 competition’s main goal is “to determine ranking, so it’s a way for Acadeca to kind of get the highest scorers so that those people go on to county because not everyone goes to county. They use these tests to separate which people go to county or not.”

Heutmaker placed 1st in literature and 2nd in art. The passages for art and literature that Heutmaker analyzed were Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard, and a few other short works such as “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. and “Ambush” by Tim O’Brien.

Chilimidos said that placement in the Round 1 competition “depends on your GPA ranking like subsections. So there’s a below 3.0, between 3.0 and 3.5, and then 3.6 up. Basically the top 3 of those go on to county.”

The Round 2 competition is scheduled to take place in January. “We’ll have much more fun there because there’ll be 10-12 schools coming. It’s gonna be a big thing,” said Verbanszky.