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Regional high schools compete in Mortar Board-sponsored Academic Decathlon

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014



MANHATTAN -- Following the Kansas Academic Decathlon at Kansas State University on Jan. 24 and 25, Shawnee Mission South High School will advance to national competition in Hawaii in April.

The university's chapter of Mortar Board, the national senior honor society, was host of the decathlon. Mortar Board recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership and service.

The Kansas Academic Decathlon, which also was open to teams from Missouri, had 12 high schools participating: Bishop Ward, Bonner Springs, Blue Valley North, Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley Southwest, Blue Valley West, Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission West and University Academy, which is in Kansas City, Mo.

Competition was offered in two categories: large schools, with more than 1,200 students; and small schools, with fewer than 1,200 students. Large school winners are Shawnee Mission South, first place and advancement to the national competition; Shawnee Mission Northwest, second place; and Blue Valley West, third place.

Small school winners are Blue Valley Southwest, first place; Bishop Ward, second place; and Bonner Springs, third place.

The decathlon tests teams on their intellectual strength. Each team has four to 12 members from three different academic levels. Teams were tested in art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science and social sciences. 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. This year’s theme was World War I.

Points earned by individual team members are combined for a total team score, with several students earning scholarships for their individual accomplishments. Individual winners are: Tre Scott, Bonner Springs High School, outstanding leadership; Alexx Graham, Shawnee Mission South, high score varsity; Matt Dunn, Shawnee Mission South, high score scholastic; and Regina Yan, Shawnee Mission South, high score honors and overall high scorer.

News tip

Bonner Springs, Kansas City, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Shawnee and Stilwell, Kan.; and Kansas City, Mo.

Written by

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson