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Strong showing for echs academic decathletes
0312 Academic Decathlon
Members of the Effingham County High School Academic Decathlon team are, front row, left to right: Brittany McCrae, Ashley Bryan, Ashley Harley and Elizabeth Patillo; middle row, Alesha Martin, Nicole Mingledorff and Karlie Persutti; and back frow, Jordan Hilton and Travis Stephens. Wendell Rogers is the team advisor/coach. - photo by Photo provided

ECHS student Brittany McCrae won the silver medal in the Interview category and Karlie Persutti placed in the top 12 five times for the seven events in which she participated at the Georgia Academic Decathlon 2010 state competition.

Both students competed in the Scholastic or “B” categories. The competition was held at Berkmar High School in Lilburn from Feb. 26-27.
Effingham County High School, coached by Wendell Rogers, was one of the 24 teams from 17 school systems throughout Georgia and the Virgin Islands that competed in the two days of competition.  

The Decathlon is sponsored each year by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Apple, Inc. and the Georgia Department of Education.
Competition events include seven tests of academic strength, three demonstrations of communication ability and the Super Quiz Oral relay,  a team event held before a live audience. Seven comprehensive tests are given in the areas of economics, mathematics, language and literature, science (or social science), music, art and the Super Quiz topic. The three communication events include speech (prepared and impromptu), interview and a written essay.

The competition concludes with the Super Quiz Oral Relay that is held in an arena/theater setting. One team member from each of the participating teams participates in a relay round resulting in nine rounds with five questions for each round.

Academic Decathlon is unique because it is not limited to high-achieving students. Preparation, participation and competition include high school students from ninth through twelfth grades. A unique aspect of Academic Decathlon is the design to include students from all academic backgrounds.

Each nine-member team consists of three “A” students, three “B” students and three “C” students. Often the “C” students — perhaps never academically motivated before — perform the best. Some students who once performed average work excel in the competition and experience continued academic success after the event.   

One high school per school district represents the school district at the state competition. The nine-member team must be from the same school and be the same team members that won district-level competition. School districts with more than one high school participating in Academic Decathlon plan a district-level competition to determine which high school will represent the district at the state finals. For those school districts having only one high school participating in decathlon, it is recommended that a district-level competition or scrimmage be held to provide an excellent experience in competition and preparation for the state competition.

PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon, which began in 1987, focuses on the importance of developing well-rounded individuals and provides an antidote to intellectual apathy and underachievement. This program provides incentive for average students, underachieving students, above-average students as well as academically talented students, to become interested in intellectual activities. Georgia Academic Decathlon opens the door to academic achievement for all students.