By Sean Powell
March 22, 2010
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
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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