Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

WHS 4th in county's Decathlon


February 7, 2019

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

From left, Damien Vargas, Pablo Vasquez and Ricardo Verdoza during the Super Quiz.

Students from around Kern County gathered this past Saturday to test their knowledge and put their interview, essay-writing and problem-solving skills to work.

The annual Academic Decathlon was held at Mira Monte High School on Feb. 2. This year's theme was the 1960s and students were tested on everything from music and art, to math, science and economics.

In all, 158 students from 18 schools competed in the competition. Each team consisted of three "A" or honors-level students, three "B" or scholastic-level students, and three "C" or varsity-level students. The teams took part in 10 different events throughout the day, testing them in essay-writing, economics, social science, language, literature, interview skills, art, music, speech, mathematics and science.

The Wasco High decathlon team placed fourth, after Arvin, Bakersfield and first-place Stockdale.

The morning sessions were closed to the general public for viewing, but spectators were invited to gather in the gymnasium after lunch for the Oral Super Quiz. The multiple-choice contest covers the three main learning styles as students are able to read the question (visual), hear the question read aloud (auditory) and handle the question card (kinesthetic). Stockdale High won the quiz with 66 points, followed closely by Wasco High, which took second place with 57 points.

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

In the processional entering the gymnasium are Christian Figueroa, holding the sign, followed by Veronica Garcia, Heri Hernandez and Kevin Alfaro.

Students said it was a fun, albeit scholastically grueling day of competition. But in addition to their fourth-place team finish, the following WHS students came home with individual medals: senior Ricardo Verdoza took home a bronze in art; senior Yasmin Orozco earned a silver in history; senior Gaige Harrison won a bronze in literature, and gold in economics, math and science; and junior Kevin Alfaro took home a bronze in history. "I want to win more medals!" said Alfaro. "I'm ready for next year."

According to the students, the questions were pretty difficult. "All of the subjects were challenging," Gaige Harrison said, "but 'Music of the 1960s' was the most enlightening."

Several students walking up to the stage to accept their medals were surprised and pleased. "This was fun," said senior Damian Vargas. "I wish I had joined my junior year, too."

Senior Christian Figueroa added, "This was definitely a highlight of my high school experience."

The students competing for WHS were Christian Figueroa, Kevin Alfaro, Damian Vargas, Veronica Garcia, Gaige Harrison, Pablo Vasquez, Heri Hernandez, Yasmin Orozco and Ricardo Verdoza. They were led by coaches Alex Martinez and Katie Moreno.


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