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Mother Lode High Schools Compete To Make The Grade

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Sonora, CA – Students from three Mother Lode high schools matched wits in the 44th Annual Mother Lode Regional Academic Decathlon Competition held in Sonora,  with the top two teams heading to the state finals and possibly the national competition.

The event took place between January 18 and February 4, with 35 community volunteers assisting in running the event. The schools participating were Bret Harte High School from Angels Camp, Summerville High School from Tuolumne, and Tioga High School from Groveland. The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools office helped coordinate the event that was held at Sonora High School.

“The ten-event academic program strives to foster a greater respect for knowledge, to promote wholesome inter-school academic competition, and to further develop student communication skills,” according to education leaders.

Students were tested on a range of subjects, including art, economics, language and literature, music, science, math, and social science. Subjective testing included an essay, an interview, and a prepared and impromptu speech. They are broken up into three divisions: honors, scholastic, or varsity, based on the student’s grade point average. Each team member competes in all ten events against other students in their division, with team scores calculated by using the top two individual scores from each division to arrive at an overall team score.

Finally, the top nine students from each school also competed in the Super Quiz, which was open to the public to attend.

Winners, including both individuals and teams, received gold, silver, and bronze medals, and are listed below:

  • Art: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
  • Economics: Delaney Lenihan, Bret Harte
  • Essay: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
  • Interview: Mark Fleming, Bret Harte
  • Language and Literature: Todd Leslie, Summerville
  • Math: Dana Brandau, Tioga
  • Music: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
  • Science: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
  • Social Science: Joshua Kepner, Summerville
  • Speech: Sophia Bouma, Bret Harte

Team combined score rankings:

  • First place: Summerville High School = 30,133.0 points.
  • Second place: Bret Harte High School = 27,314.5 points.

These teams will compete in the state competition from March 11 through March 26, 2023, in Santa Clara, with the winners eligible to compete at the national finals from April 13–28, 2023, in Frisco, Texas.