St. Raymond School in Menlo Park and 10 other elementary schools from the Archdiocese of San Francisco participated in the annual Academic Junior High Decathlon at St. Pius School in Redwood City on March 1.
Cheered on by parents, classmates, and teachers, the 15-member St. Raymond Academic Decathlon Team finished in first place in the Super Quiz and first place overall, outscoring second-place Notre Dame Elementary School in Belmont, and third-place St. Gabriel School in San Francisco.
St. Raymond School will represent the Archdiocese of San Francisco in April at the State Academic Decathlon in San Bernadino.
In individual events, St. Raymond students Emma Connors, Lesly Duke and Chelsea Dunleavy were awarded gold medals in English, science, and fine arts, respectively; and Sebastian Marshall took the silver medal in current events.
The Academic Junior High Decathlon is a competition for students in grades 6 through 8. There are 10 events. Two are collaborative team efforts— a logic quiz with 20 rigorous thinking problems, and a super quiz with 50 multiple-choice questions on five broad academic themes.
The remaining eight events test individual knowledge of the Roman Catholic doctrine, English, literature, science, mathematics, current events, social studies, and fine arts (art and music). Awards are given for individual and team performance, and the winning school team from each geographic diocese competes in a state championship.
The St. Raymond team is made up of Alexis Bundy, Emma Connors, Leslie Duke, Chelsea Dunleavy, Matthew Huo, Rebecca Latham, Margaret Leahy, John Lonergan, Ronan MacRunnels, Sebastian Marshall, Scott Nelson, Christian Powell, Roger Ross, Thaddeus Sison, and Matthew Smithers.
With their adviser, Mr. Patrick Sullivan and the academic coaches, teachers, and parents, the team worked before school, after school and weekends, studying subjects such as science, fine arts, social studies, religion, and literature.
The real "gold," however, could be felt in the fellowship that developed during the hours spent studying together, questioning one another on the subject matter, and learning how to work together as a team.