WISCONSIN ACADEMIC DECATHLON

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

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  Grace Richmond, Sun Prairie School
“I also want to take this time to tell you what a great program we have in Wisconsin.  Academic Decathlon has really changed my life- I have really great friends on my team and I am learning more than I do in the regular classroom.  Thanks for all you do!”

 Shaun Soman, Iowa-Grant High School

“Academic Decathlon was an important part of my high school experience because it allowed me to challenge myself in ways that a regular curriculum could not.  The four years I have spent in Academic Decathlon have inspired me to be a lifelong learner.”

Grace Enloe, Iowa-Grant School

“I was originally reluctant to join Academic Decathlon, but after three years of persuasion, I finally gave in.  My only regret is that I didn’t give in earlier.”

Charlie Connolly, Iowa-Grant High School

“Academic Decathon is a good way for students to further their knowledge in various studies that they would not otherwise be able to learn about.”

Dec. 3, 2012 Article – Double Trouble?   Click Here to View

Eric Schumann, New Berlin Eisenhower High School

“Academic Decathlon was an incredibly rewarding part of my high school experience and a great challenge that prepared me for both college and the future.  The dedication it required as well as all the knowledge I gained helped me focus my interests in economics and mathematics toward my current studies in actuarial science.  I rarely make it through much more than a week without having some reminder of something I learned in Academic Decathlon.  Aside from all the studying, I really enjoyed bonding with my team and coaches over the long hours of study as well as the wonderful opportunities I had to beta test with DemiDec.”

 Delaney Cairns, Green Bay Southwest High School

“Decathlon gives you a broad, cultural, applicable knowledge base. Your teammates and coaches serve as your decathlon family and give you confidence to find your limitations, and work beyond them, in both WIAD and everyday life.”

 Kevin Plazak, New Berlin Eisenhower High School

“Eisenhower did not lose.  Waukesha West won.  I don’t know how much time they put in, but I do know that our team has done 13-hour school days for at least two weeks.  They get no contempt, no anger, no jealousy – only the respect a defeated rival can produce.

So, my score dropped…. I did not reach my goal.  Our team did not reach its goal.  I wallowed in my pity last night.  But I woke up with a clear head, and looking at everything that we have accomplished together, I have absolutely zero regrets.  I appreciate the Decathlon for giving me the opportunity to flex that other muscle in my head that isn’t my tongue.  I appreciate my coaches, Ms. Blue and Mr. Fountain, for their profound dedication to us and to this competition.   The world needs more teachers like them.   I appreciate Waukesha West, simply because if they weren’t this good, we wouldn’t be either.  I, above all, appreciate my eight brothers and sisters on this team.  Each one brings a different personality to this group that makes us a family.  I specifically appreciate Jack, for taking each step of this journey the past two years with me.   Together, we grew from being overly-confident, mediocre jerks to being dedicated, focused, respectable Decathletes.  Congratulations, Jack, on taking the series lead 4-3 over me.

In the end, it’s not how well you do in the Decathlon, but how well you apply what you’ve learned in the Decathlon.   I have become a comfortable public speaker.   I have learned the value of work ethic in an academic setting.   I have developed the ability to learn from and teach peers, even underclassmen.   Most importantly, I have developed a career interest that, fortunately, I have the capacity to do well in.   I owe many things to this competition, this team, and these people I have surrounded myself with.   I have become a better man since I started high school, and much of that is due to this great organization. “

Anuraag Girdhar, Waukesha West High School

 “Academic Decathlon has provided me with focus, with inspiration, with friends, with culture.  I don’t know where I’d be without what I’ve learned from Decathlon, most of which transcends the curricula themselves.”

Bobby Robbins, McFarland High School

 “Academic Decathlon has taught me the importance of studying and how to build friendship with teammates.”

Tanner Rasmussen, McFarland High School

 “Learning how to study is only half of what Academic Decathlon is about. The other half is about learning to make connections with teammates and having fun doing it.”

Brad Stieber, Marathon High School

 “Academic Decathlon provided me with the tools I needed for academic success. Not only did my performance in AcDec improve, my performance in school improved immensely as well.”

Randy Kruser, Southwestern Wisconsin High School

“Though I have only once participated in Academic Decathlon, I believe that my involvement with this year’s team (the first team at Southwestern since the 80’s) has not only allowed my intelligence to flourish, but also given me the ability to expand into academic areas that are not my usual forte. In the future, I believe that this experience will allow me to reach a higher comprehension capacity in new studies. The diversity between my teammates on Academic Decathlon (in all areas from academic fields of interest to social life) reflects the real world in which great differences bring us closer as a society.

 

Johannes Christian Paetzold, German Foreign Exchange Student

Southwestern Wisconsin High School

“The academic decathlon offered for me as an exchange student the opportunity to meet many interesting and different people from different schools.”

 “Further on it made it possible for me to improve my skills in understanding, writing and communicating in English.” 

 “I profited personally from the German education system, and my French skills, which gave me little advantages in some subjects.”

 

Johannah Rigdon, Southwestern Wisconsin High School

 “Academic Decathlon gives students equal opportunities to learn priceless study skills and time managing skills that will be useful throughout our life time.  It allows students who usually are C average to compete and even beat kids who are at the top of their class.  It shows them that they are not average and they can achieve B’s and A’s with time and effort.”

“It also introduces the classics to students.  I bet many kids didn’t even know who Charles Dickens was before this.  Public speaking is the second fear adults have and it is just another skill that we as students have to learn and compete in.  Because this was our first time ever competing in the academic decathlon, we set up a practice meet with Iowa Grant, who have competed before.  They where wonderful hosts and they really helped us prepare for the real test.” 

“The Academic Decathlon is a great opportunity for any student.  It teaches you great skills to use in and out of the class room.  By participating in this competition we have learned that winning is not based on how many teams you beat but what you learn and the experiences you gain on the way.

 

Jeffrey Spence, Waukesha West High School

“Academic Decathlon is a really good competition and unlike March Madness it teaches you a lot of skills you can use later on in life because in a job you may have to interview or public speak but you will never have to dribble or shoot three point shots.”

Seth Mulhall, Deerfield High School

“Of all of the many activities I have participated in throughout my high school career, none has proved as valuable as Academic Decathlon.  Even when I first joined the team as a freshman, it was already becoming a second family.  The coach, the upperclassmen, the study sessions, and the actual competitions were all things that proved extremely valuable.  The coach always went out of his way to make me feel welcome, as if I was part of his family.  The chocolate, the Halloween parties, and the occasional breakfast banquets were just perks of an already wonderful experience.  Along with our coach, the other students on the team did their best to make me feel at home when I first joined, and it only continued from there.  As the years passed, I met people that I never would have met outside of the team, and I made some new friends.  Also, these friends helped me learn how to study properly through our study sessions, considering I never really learned how to study through elementary and middle school.” 

“Finally, the actual competitions for Academic Decathlon taught me how to take a test.  While that may not seem very valuable, in today’s world of standardized testing, knowing how to take one is half of the battle.  Because of Academic Decathlon’s extremely difficult tests, the ACT and SAT suddenly became very easy.  Academic Decathlon has been the most cherished part of my years at Deerfield High School.”

Andy Gesior, Waukesha West High School

“The most important thing you learn is how to learn. . .Decathlon is about motivating people who may not be motivated about school.”

“I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone who hasn’t maybe had the best outlook on (extracurricular) activities-it helps you see you can be a good competitor.  And it’s helped me grade-wise and in teaching me a ton of life skills.  It’s actually increasing my ability to do well in school.  It helps students like myself who don’t come in with the best work ethic and helps with time management skills and the importance of working toward a goal.”

Andrea Metz, Marathon High School

“Decathlon has exposed me to real-life situations that require skills that cannot be acquired in the classroom.”

David Byrne, Waukesha West High School

“I found a work ethic in it, something I’d never done before, my grade point average has gone up sharply since joining the decathlon team and I have learned a lot about how to apply myself.”

 

Sean Kennedy, Green Bay Southwest High School

“Decathlon is one of the best programs out there, you are driven to be better.”

 

Michael Abere, Waukesha West High School

“We aren’t quite as close on other teams, here we almost live together.”

 

Caitlin Segriff , Green Bay Preble High School

“I love to push myself to new limits.”

 

Rachel Anderson , Wilmot Union High School

“We’re more like a family than a bunch of students.”

 

Dio Traverso, Wilmot Union High School

“The Academic Decathlon isn’t just about learning facts and figures. Preparing for the competitions helps me strengthen my study habits and memorization skills, and the information I’m learning is broadening my scope of mental acuity.”

Andrew Kohrs, Sun Prairie High School

“I cannot even begin to explain how much this program has meant to my teammates and myself.   I probably will not be able to fully realize the value of Academic Decathlon for years.

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Alumni

What has Academic Decathlon meant to you?

 

Rufus King Alumni

“The AD was very important to my development, and a treasured memory.”

Menomonee Falls Alumni

“More than anything, it taught me how to learn. It’s made a huge impact on my grades in school, helping me in all of my classes, and I have met some of the greatest people you could ask for. Academic Decathlon is the reason I will miss high school.

Wauwatosa West Alumni

“Ac Dec was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my high school years.   It provided a forum for me to achieve at the highest levels of my academic abilities outside of the school environment and helped me to develop the confience needed to succeed at the university level.”

Waukesha West Alumni

“Academic decathlon has meant the world to me.  All the hours of studying, rehearsing speeches, and writing essays gave a real purpose to my senior year at Waukesha West.  Academic decathlon has been a wonderful experience in which I made new friendships and competed at the highest level.  Even now decathlon has inspired my career choice to go into the field of surgery as our science the year I participated was anatomy.  Academic decathlon has influenced me greatly and will contiune to influence me throughout the rest of my life. “

 

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