NAHS Academic Decathlon to Represent APS at the State-Level Competition


Ella Kaufman

The Academic Decathlon team heads to state for the third time in four years.

For the third time in four years, the North Atlanta Academic Decathlon Team is headed to the Georgia Academic Decathlon State Competition, solidifying their place as a resolute contender within the Atlanta Public Schools Honors and Gifted Program. 

Academic Decathlon attracts studious Dubs from a variety of GPA levels to compete individually and as a group in knowledge-based tests, essays and speeches. North Atlanta has excelled consistently in APS scrimmages over the fall semester, earning awards across the honors, varsity, and alternate levels of competition. On January 14th, the Academic Decathlon qualifying competition was held to determine the 11-person team that would represent APS on the state level. The North Atlanta team excelled in all GPA categories, and was later celebrated with a caravan bus to surprise them with awards, balloons, and a district title win. “Since it’s my last year with the team, I am really looking forward to going to State for the first time this year,” said Senior Mady Mertens. “I’m proud of how far original team members have come after four years on the team.”

Regular team practices are led by Dr. Deanna Hasty and Dr. Usha Patke, who are working diligently to prepare the group for competition at the state level. Students study packets and take practice tests in the subjects of art, social studies, economics, math, science, and literature under the topic of the year, water. This includes reviewing the selected book, Sea Wolf by Jack London, and reading short stories. “Competition prep is lengthy and moves quickly,” said Junior Juliette Holzworth. “Prepping for team events requires hard work from every teammate to see results.” 

While students took online tests in all subject areas during Atlanta Public Schools competitions, the State competition includes a hybrid schedule of events. The first part of the state competition was held on February 7th, where the team took an online essay and art test during the school day. On Thursday, February 24, students will spend the entire day on campus, taking the rest of the subject tests online. The in-person parts of the competition will be held at Parkview High School under a two-day schedule. A Super Quiz competition will be held on Friday, in which two teams compete in live time to answer questions trivia-style. Finally, on Saturday, students give a prepared speech and attend individual interviews, followed by an awards banquet. “I expect North Atlanta to dominate in interviews and speech competitions,” said coach Dr. Deanna Hasty. The Academic Decathlon State competition is really tough, but I want the kids to prioritize having fun first.”

The State competition is sure to feature the most studious decathletes in the state, and students will enjoy meeting their high-achieving counterparts from other schools. We wish our decathlete Dubs the best of luck at State and hope that Dub spirit shines through in the prestigious competition.