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Fri, Sept. 18

Williams High School hosts regional academic decathlon

The first elimination round of the 2001 Arizona Academic Decathlon brought more than 200 students and their parents to Williams Friday and Saturday for one of four regional competitions.

Across the state, between 800-1,000 students competed to determine the top 40 teams who will be heading to the state competition in March at Chandler High School.

“The team placed second in the Super Quiz and fourth overall,” said Dan Ayub, Spanish and advanced English teacher for Williams High School, who is also the sponsor for Academic Decathlon.

Out of the 14 teams that were in Williams, St. Johns High School received first place for the 16th year in a row.

“I don’t think they’ve ever been beaten at regionals,” said Ayub.

Round Valley High School placed second, Blue Ridge received third and Williams rounded out the top four.

“Those four teams pretty much dominated (the competition),” Ayub said.

For each academic decathlon event, all participating students are ranked in ten areas.

“Each student has delivered a prepared and impromptu speech; written an essay on a subject selected for the competition; undergone a formal interview; and taken seven tests on mathematics, economics, art, music, literature, science and the super quiz,” said Denis Kirkley, math teacher at Williams High School, who helped administer the Super Quiz.

Nine students from each team took the tests. The super quiz is the final competition in which the students answer a series of five questions, all dealing with the subject “Understanding the Self.”

“All questions are multiple choice,” Kirkley said. “Students will have seven seconds from the time I complete reading the question to darken the answer sheet.”

The students who represented Williams are — Mandy Beavers, Amanda Bonnell, Crystal Edes, Allison Erickson, Diane Krupski, Whitney Opperman, Treavor Treanor, Hillary Wamble and Holly Wells.

These students are selected on the basis of grade point average and in-school competition. Each team is composed of nine students, three with “A” averages, three with “B” averages and three with “C” averages.

The Super Quiz lasted nine rounds and included 45 questions that covered everything from the four noble truths of Buddhism to the laws of Karma.

“We don’t know yet if we’re going to state,” Ayub said. “We scored lower than last year but so did everyone in the region.”

If the participants in the other three regional competitions also score low, Ayub said, Williams should proceed to the state competition.

The following students received individual awards:

• Beavers — 1st mathematics, 1st Super Quiz, 2nd language and literature and 3rd in speech.

• Krupski — 1st in essay and 3rd in mathematics.

• Bonnell — 3rd in language and literature and second in music.

• Treanor — 3rd in science.

• Opperman — 3rd in interview.

• Erickson — 1st in mathematics.

• Wells — overall best essay.

Two teams also received special awards.

“Tri-City (which includes Prescott Valley, Cottonwood and Prescott high schools) received the most improved and the rookie of the year trophy went to Blue Ridge,” Ayub said.

Williams’ residents helped out during the competition by volunteering to be judges, proctors and timers during the two-day event.

“We’d like to thank all the volunteers — especially Mr. Fleishman for running it and Mr. Kirkley for doing the Super Quiz,” Ayub said.

This year the novel the students had to read for the language and literature category was “Frankenstein,” along with six poems. The science section concentrated on the biology of the cell, molecular genetics and the immune system. This year’s art contained paintings, sculptures and masks that touched on images of the self.

“The tests are boring and the art was hard,” said Treanor, who correctly answered four out of five Super Quiz questions. “We could have done better, but we tried our best. We’ll do better last year.”

Williams has competed in the Arizona Academic Decathlon since 1986. The 2002 regional competition will be in Flagstaff. The top state teams will compete at Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska in April.

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