The results are in for the Academic Decathlon and Hollywood High has some notable award winners including three gold medals.
The Academic Decathlon is as the name suggests an academic competition consisting of seven knowledge tests which were completed at Hollywood for our own students. These knowledge tests consist of Art, Economics, Literature, Math, Music, Science and Social Science. After completing them, students later went to Edward R. Roybal Learning Center to complete the rest of the decathlon consisting of an essay, speech, interview. Students also competed in the fast-paced Super Quiz at this location, a challenge which is held live.
This year, the the topic focused on was the 1960s, which can be often referred to as a transformative time, with changes all around the United States from protests for civil rights and full women’s rights to the Vietnam war and rock and roll.
Stacey Kasai, a SAS senior is the team captain of the Academic Decathlon team at Hollywood. She won a medal for leadership/inspiration. For this portion, she had to read off flashcards which were used to challenge each other in vocabulary, as well as assign roles and act out Tom Stoppard’s play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”.
“It was really fun, we did a lot better than we thought we did. We placed 24th out of 57 which is a huge jump from last year,” she said.
This year has been the highest score that Hollywood has seen, before the highest was 26th place.
Jose Salazar, SAS senior, won a gold medal in the interview portion, with a perfect score alongside. The interview portion consisted of two interviews, one that had been prepared and another impromptu. He describes the process as consisting of a 20-30 second introduction followed by responding to questions for about five minutes.
“No, I didn’t think I was going to win,” he said. “I was really surprised because I wasn’t at the awards ceremony.”
He was notified of his win through a text from a friend who did attend the ceremony.
Another award recipient, Carmen Muñiz, an eleventh grade SAS student, won a gold medal in the essay and plaque for highest score on the team. She wrote her essay on Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, and his plan against poverty, as well as society in America. The students received three prompts for the essay, and Muñiz prepared the night before by watching an interview on the 60s and going over booklets.
“Decathlon gets a rap and is assumed as a nerd competition, but when you actually do it, it’s very fun. It has its own difficulties because it is a competition, but it is manageable to do well in,” said Muñiz. “You and your friends should join because it’s fun to do, especially if you are on a team with people you know.”