SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Sincere thanks
By Sean Powell


March 22, 2010
Monday PM

I would like to thank the following ten people: Marco Torres, Leslie Snodderly, Kate Guillemette, Dorsey Winter, Maxx Keizer, Jodie Gatti, Michael Hosley, Valena Johnson, Amelia Cooper and (Kayhi's own team Mom) Ellen Funk. This is our 2010 Kayhi Academic Decathlon State team and they did something magical on the last weekend of February. For those of you who don't know what it is: Academic Decathlon (AcDc...small "c" no copyright infringement here!) is a school sponsored activity that has kids studying Math, Music, Art, Economics, Literature, Science (Chemistry this year) and the Superquiz (this year it was the French Revolution) so they can take tests on those subjects. For fun. They also write an essay, give two speeches and attend an interview as part of the competition. This year they placed in all but one event, took third in the Oral Superquiz and were the second place OVERALL in the STATE! While that is a matter of some indifference to some, it is an amazing accomplishment!

For as long as I have been a coach, we have been struggling against not Juneau, not Sitka, not even Anchorage but Fairbanks and IDEA (online school... we call them the closet nerds). Well, this year we beat IDEA AND one of the Fairbanks teams (West Valley) a LEGACY at the state AcDc meet which had been # 1 or 2 for nearly a DECADE! We were one question per event per person behind the state winner and I have every hope we will close that gap next year. This is made all the more poignant by the fact that our AcDc kids do not do this as a class in school; theirs do. Ours also have to fundraise to fly ALL the way up to Anchorage; theirs come down in vans. If you see these kids in the community, please tell them that you're proud of them: they really ARE our future and a handsome future it is!

As for Ellen (one of our secret, stealth weapons armed with a lint roller for speech/interview and tissues for afterwards), she is trapped in the "nerdosphere" for five days each year and has not yet gone crazy. She deserves chocolate!

Finally, I want to thank all those decathletes who came before this team: they are the reason we've done better each year and that trophy belongs to them, too.

Thanks for your time! I hope to write another one of these next year.

Sean Powell
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I am a science/protech teacher at Ketchikan High School. I have been teaching for nearly two decades in various places in the US. I am also fortunate enough to be Kayhi's Academic Decathlon coach. I have a bachelor's degree in Chemistry with a minor in Math. I am a virgo and like long walks on the beach... "

Received March 17, 2009 - Published March 22, 2010



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Ketchikan, Alaska