In It to Win It: North Atlanta’s Academic Decathlon Scholars Move on to State


NAHS’ Best and Brightest: North Atlanta’s Academic Decathlon team advances to state for the 4th time since their debut!

Give it up for Academic Decathlon! The Academic Decathlon is a nationwide annual high school academic competition organized by the United States Academic Decathlon (USAD), where students match their intellects with students from other schools in their state. Having been around since 1968, it was originally founded by Dr. Robert Peterson, as a means of promoting academic excellence among students. There are usually a variety of categories that students are tested in, including art, economics, math, science, literature, and more. 

The supervisors of the North Atlanta team, Dr. Deanna Hasty and Dr. Usha Patke, are in charge of leading the team on their expedition toward extending their knowledge in preparation for competitions. Academic Decathlons usually have an annual theme, this year focusing on the American Revolution. The overall purpose of Academic Decathlon is to extend one’s knowledge on a given topic as well as learn in an environment that focuses on the importance of your teammates. It also provides a way to build experience in working and participating in a team. “I decided to join the team due to it fostering an environment that highlights the importance of teamwork as well as one’s accountability towards their team, which I deem as two great skills to have,” said team member junior Kennedy Marable. “Being on the team also gives me room to learn more about an interesting topic that may not be as heavily covered in the school curriculum.”

Students on the team find themselves participating in a multitude of tests. Generally, a number of assessments are issued to teams all across America, in subjects ranging from arts to math to see where they stand among their peers, as well as determine their overall strengths. To advance, you and your team must make it to the Super Quiz, a quiz taken with your teammates based on your squad. Final scores from both Super Quiz as well as the final exam determine whether or not your team continues to state. Fortunately enough, our North Atlanta Academic Decathlon team has made it to state again for the fourth time. “Following our team’s tradition from previous years, we have once again made it to state! We are all really proud of the work we’ve put in to make it so far and are excited to compete against all other decathlon teams across Georgia,” said Junior Kelly Reyes Cruz.

If you are looking to work collaboratively with a team and further your knowledge in a variety of different subject areas, look into joining the Academic Decathlon team next year! If you find yourself willing to put a little effort into studying subjects outside of school, or just want to broaden your scope as a whole, give the team a shot! They are always accepting new members and looking for students dedicated to the team.