Feb. 29, 2016
HP Academic Decathlon team wins first-ever State Championship


It's time to make more room in Highland Park High School's trophy case. The HP Academic Decathlon team won the State Championship, the first in school history, on Feb. 28 in Irving. With the win, the team secured its spot to compete for the national championship April 28-30 in Anchorage, Alaska. 

"I am incredibly proud of our students' perseverance and dedication, and each member of this team deserves to be called a state champion," HPISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. "The AcDec team's accomplishment is just another example of the exemplary academic success achieved by HPISD students every day."

The state competition was split into three divisions - for small, medium and large schools - and Highland Park competed against the largest schools in the state. At the end of the tournament, HP collected 52,401 points, the largest total among all three divisions. 

"As I was able to witness HP's Academic Decathlon team winning the first state gold medal in school history, I realized the many years of continued effort that made the moment possible," HPHS Principal Walter Kelly said. "We are all so proud of the students and coaches who led us in competition this year, as well as the hundreds of academic decathletes that have competed for HP over the past decades. Congratulations are also in order to the many teachers and parents involved in our success."

Academic Decathlon teams are judged on several components during the competition, including a seven-minute interview, a one-hour essay, two speeches and written comprehensive exams in music, art, language/literature, mathematics, economics and social science. The final event in the competition is the Super Quiz relay, where waves of students compete in front of an audience. 

The students on the HP AcDec team are:

Team members
  • Grant Bailey, junior
  • Kevin Chen, senior
  • Wyatt Hill, junior
  • Michael Hodak, senior
  • Jack Reynolds, senior
  • Raef Rothschild, senior
  • Cheyenne Son, senior
  • Michael Xie, sophomore
  • Brooke Yung, junior
Alternates
  • Rachel Korn, junior
  • Abby Warren, junior
  • Jasmyne Rodriguez, sophomore
The team is coached by HPHS teachers Greg Bergeron and David Alvarado.

"This group of Scots dedicated so much of themselves in their pursuit of a team state title," Bergeron said. "Coach Alvarado and I are very proud of each team member. We are excited for the opportunity to represent the state of Texas and Highland Park ISD at the national Academic Decathlon meet in Anchorage."