CHS Academic Decathlon


The Calais High School Academic Decathlon team competed at the state championships in Scarborough on February 27. Front row- Riley Sluzenski, Samantha Look, Dylan Carrier, Marisa Mitchell, Logan Huckins, Coach Stephanie Griffin. Back row- Coach Stanley Sluzenski, Colt Delaney, Nathan Smith, Jack Lander, Isaac Johnson. The team placed 5th place overall and 5th place in Super Quiz. Medalists: Isaac Johnson- Bronze in Varsity Math, Bronze in Varsity Interview; Dylan Carrier- Bronze in Honors Interview; Riley Sluzenski- Silver in Honors Speech and Team High Score. (Submitted photo).

On February 27th, at Scarborough High School, approximately 150 students from none high schools competed in the State Academic Decathlon Competition. Participating high schools included Bangor High School, Calais High School, Cheverus High School, Hall Dale High School, Monmouth Academy, Oak Hill High School, Portland High School, Scarborough High School, and Woodland High School. 

The Academic Decathlon, the premiere national scholastic competition for high school students, was created to provide opportunities for students to experience the challenges of rigorous team and individual academic competition. Each student competes in ten events which are Economics, Essay, Art, Interview, Language and Literature, Math, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech. 

The competition format of the Super Quiz is in addition to that of the other subject areas. While students take one written test in each of the other subjects, they will take an oral test in the Super Quiz subject. The oral relay portion of the Super Quiz is the only part of the actual testing that is open to the public, and it is inevitably one of the most memorable and exciting parts of the Academic Decathlon competition. The academic program strives to foster a greater respect for knowledge, to promote wholesome inter-school academic competition, and to further develop student communication skills. 

A unique aspect of the Academic Decathlon is that it is designed to include students from all academic abilities and achievement levels. Each nine-member team consists of three “A” (Honor division), three “B” (Scholastic division), and three “C or below” (Varsity division) students. Each team member competes in all ten events against other students in their individual divisions. However, team scores are calculated using the top two individual scores from each division to arrive at an overall team score. 

Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded for individual events and total scores. Overall individual winners are recognized as are champion teams. The broad base of awards allows for major recognition of academic accomplishment. Teams advance through local, regional and state levels of competition. The state champions compete at the national finals. This year’s national event will take place April 28th–30th in Anchorage, Alaska. 

A new theme of study is established every year with topics that are relevant, current and challenging. This year’s theme is India. The theme for 16/17 is World War II. Students have composed an essay based on a prompt whose central theme incorporates information relating to the current curriculum. Students will also perform a prepared speech and impromptu speech and participate in an interview before a panel of community volunteer judges. 


The Academic Decathlon emphasizes the personal and academic growth of each student who, by meeting the challenges with honesty and integrity, can reap the rewards of greater self-knowledge and self-confidence for the future.