Van Nuys Senior High School

‘Onto Victory’ for Van Nuys AcaDec team

“Onto Victory,” the motto of the Academic Decathlon (AcaDec) team, proved true on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, which were the two days of the city competition with over 50 high school teams. The first Saturday consisted of the subjective events while the second Saturday consisted of the objective events.

For the whole day of Jan. 30, each team members gave a four-minute prepared speech and a two-minute impromptu speech. Some of their speech topics included relationships with parents, bullying, bureaucracy, and quality of life in developing countries. From World War I to innovation and energy, the national theme of the competition changes each year. This year’s theme is India, which means the competitors must have learned specific sections of seven subjects: science, literature, art, music, social science, economics, and mathematics of India. This was the bulk of the competition on Feb. 6. These seven subjects corresponded to seven grueling multiple choice tests. In addition to those tests is a 36-question multiple choice test that the varsity (C-team), scholastic (B-team), and honors (A-team) teams competes in front of the general public.

The team is categorized into three groups based on their individual GPA, led by team captain Matthew Michilot and Coach Abreu. On A-team there is Keith Atienza, Wai Kong and Max Sherr; on B-team there is Matthew Michilot, Justin Buted and Syed Sajeel; on C-team there is Kevin Simonian and Elijah Salcido. The results of the past two weekends will be revealed on Feb. 12 at Hollywood High School, where the award ceremony will be held. The Van Nuys AcaDec team looks forward to placing in the top ten teams, which will move them on to the state competition in Sacramento from March 17-20.

“Academic Decathlon is more than an academic competition. It’s a life-changing experience,” said captain Michilot.

–Keshan Huang