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Source: Kari Nap, 785-532-6250, karinap@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Joshua Linn, 785-280-0651, jlinn@k-state.edu

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011

KANSAS ACADEMIC DECATHLON CROWNS NEW STATE CHAMPS; MORTAR BOARD ASSISTS COMPETITION

MANHATTAN -- Three high school teams competing in the recent Kansas Academic Decathlon at Kansas State University will advance to national competition. The university's chapter of Mortar Board, the national senior honor society, was host of the event.

Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park, and University Academy, Kansas City, Mo., will represent their respective states at the 2011 U.S. Academic Decathlon, April 27-30, in Charlotte, N.C. Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, Kan., will compete in a national online decathlon for schools with fewer than 1,000 students.

The Kansas Academic Decathlon, which also was open to teams from Missouri, was Jan. 21-22 at K-State with 14 high schools participating.

Competition was offered in two categories: large schools, with more than 1,000 students; and small schools, with fewer than 1,000 students. The winner of the large school category advances to the national competition, while

The decathlon tests teams on their intellectual strength. Each team has four to 12 members from three different academic levels: honor students with grade point averages of 3.75 to 4.0; scholastic students with grade point averages of 3.0 to 3.74; and varsity students with grade point averages of 2.0 to 2.99.

Teams were tested in art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music and social sciences, all featuring the theme of the Great Depression. The students also wrote essays, participated in interviews and delivered prepared speeches. The decathlon featured a super quiz where teams earned points for correctly answering questions in head-to-head competition. The subjects covered in the decathlon are part of a study guide used by teams across the nation.

Points earned by individual team members are combined for a total team score, with several students earning scholarships for their individual accomplishments.

Schools competing in the 2011 Kansas Academic Decathlon, and team placements and/or individual honors if earned, include:

* Bonner Springs High School, third place, small schools.

* Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, Kan., first place, small schools.

* University Academy, Kansas City, Mo., academic decathlon champion for the state of Missouri.

* From Olathe: Olathe East High School and Olathe South High School.

* Blue Valley North, Overland Park, second place, large schools. Team member Karthick Chellamuthu earned the Overall High Score Award and Honors Division High Score Award.

* Blue Valley Southwest, Overland Park, second place, small schools.

* Blue Valley West, Overland Park, third place, large schools. Team member Ethan Nicholls earned the Varsity Division High Score Award.

* Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village.

* Shawnee Mission North High School, Overland Park.

* Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee. Team member Siobhan Barrett earned the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award.

* Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park, first place, large schools. Team member Nathanial Routh earned the Scholastic Division High Score Award.

* Shawnee Mission West High School, Overland Park.

* Washburn Rural, Topeka.

K-State Mortar Board members Hannah Leventhal, senior in animal sciences and industry and pre-veterinary medicine, Arvada, Colo., and Samuel Brinton, senior in mechanical and nuclear engineering and vocal performance, Perry, Iowa, served as Academic Decathlon co-chairs.

State directors of the Kansas Academic Decathlon are Megan Clark and Amy Bartak. K-State meet director is Kari Nap, Mortar Board adviser.