Following an impressive weekend of rigorous scholastic competition, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) high schools earned top honors in this weekend’s Orange County Academic Decathlon (OCAD) at Santa Ana High School. In total, 41 schools from around the county competed.
In Division 1, Valencia High School (VHS) came in fourth place (fourth overall), earning the Tigers an invitation to the state competition scheduled for March in Sacramento. In Division 2, Esperanza High School (EHS) won first place (seventh overall), while El Dorado High School (EDHS) took second place (tenth overall) and Yorba Linda High School (YLHS) placed eighth (19th overall). In Division 1 and 2, PYLUSD is the only school district to have three teams ranked among the Top Ten in Orange County.
According to the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), the OCAD program is uniquely designed to engage and challenge students of all academic abilities and achievement levels. Teams of students prepare for a competition of academic strength, focused on language and literature, science, mathematics, social science, economics, art, music, essay, interview, and speech.
Here are the individual results from all four PYLUSD high schools:
Valencia High School
The Valencia Tigers placed fourth overall in Division 1 and were one of just five teams that qualified for state. This marks the 10th year in a row that Valencia has qualified for the state competition.
In addition, VHS placed fifth in Super Quiz in Division 1. Here are the individual medals:
- Brennan Ackerman (12) = 1st overall in the Scholastic Category, 1st in Economics, 1st in Social Science, 1st in Music, 2nd in Essay, 3rd in Science, 3rd in Speech, & 5th is Art
- Sidra Ali (11) = 2nd in Art, 2nd in Speech, 3rd in Economics, 3rd in Language and Lit., 3rd in Music, & 3rd in Social Science
- David Chase (11) = 10th overall in the Varsity Category, 1st in Music, & 1st in Social Science
- Camille Ehrich (11) = 2nd in Interview & 5th in Economics
- Joshua Hall (11) = 4th in Economics
- Joshua Khang (12) = 1st in Language and Lit., 1st in Math, 2nd in Economics, 3rd in Art, 3rd in Speech, 4th in Essay, 4th in Science, & 5th in Music
- Erika Kim (12) = 3rd in Economics, 3rd in Language and Lit., 4th in Interview, 4th in Math, & 5th in Social Science
- Erin Kim (12) = 3rd in Language and Lit., 3rd in Math, 4th in Essay, and 4th in Speech
- Saw Kyaw (12) = 6th overall in the Honors Category, 1st in Essay, 1st in Speech, 2nd in Economics, 3rd in Math, & 4th in Language and Lit.
- Caominh Le (11) 1st in Math, 3rd in Music, 4th in Language and Lit., 4th in Social Science, 4th in Speech, & 5th in Art
- Curtis Liu (11) = 9th overall in the Honors Category, 1st in Art, 1st in Essay, 1st in Language and Lit., 1st in Music, 2nd in Economics, 2nd in Math, 2nd in Speech, & 3rd in Social Science
- Sean Patel (11) = 7th overall in the Scholastic Category, 1st in Science, 2nd in Art, 2nd in Language and Lit., & 4th in Music
- Sharon Wang (12) = 1st in Economics, 1st in Social Science, 2nd in Language and Lit., 3rd in Math, 4th in Science, 5th in Art, & 5th in Music
- Grace Yoo = 10th overall in the Scholastic Category, 3rd in Economics, 3rd in Language and Lit., 3rd in Math, & 5th in Social Science
- Victor Yoo (12) = 2nd in Language and Lit., 2nd in Social Science, 3rd in Art, 3rd in Music, 4th in Math, & 4th in Science
- Anthony Zhang (11) = 2nd in Language and Lit., 4th in Music, 5th in Math, & 5th in Social Science
*The bolded individual medals indicate overall placement. This means that the student achieved one of the 10 highest combined scores in the county in their respective category and will receive a scholarship for their effort. The amounts of the scholarships range from $100 to $1000.
Great job, Tigers!
Esperanza High School
Besides winning first place in Division 2, the Aztecs also scored an impressive first in team “Super Quiz” and took home the inaugural “Spirit of OCAD” award, given to the school with the most presence, purpose, unity, and team spirit throughout the competition. In addition, Esperanza also earned 41 individual subject medals, with at least one medal in each of the ten competition categories. Team members included:
- Shivani Valand (12)
- Emily Pandhi (11)
- Emily Macedo (11) = 1 medal (5th music)
- Kevin Choi (12) = 1 medal (3rd music)
- Mahrooz (MZ) Ahmad (11) = 1 medal (1st literature)
- Katie Kuwahara (11) = 2 medals (2nd essay, 5th music)
- Catie Mullner (11) = 2 medals (1st interview w/perfect score, 5th literature)
- Gauri Deepa-Sreelal (11) = 4 medals (2nd speech, 4th science, 5th music, 5th art)
- Michael Endo (12) = 4 medals (1st speech, 2nd social science, 3rd literature, 4th science)
- Emilee Carr (12) = 4 medals (1st interview w/perfect score, 1st speech, 1st literature, 5th music)
- Grace Nguyen (12) = 7 medals (1st music, 2nd art, 3rd literature, 3rd science, 4th math, 4th social science, 4th essay)
- Jessica Youssef (12) = 7 medals (1st speech, 1st art, 2nd math, 2nd music, 3rd science, 4th social science, 4th interview)
- Cally (Lianlian) Liu (12) = 8 medals (1st essay, 1st science, 1st music, 3rd art, 3rd economics, 4th social science, 5th literature, 5th math)
El Dorado High School
The EDHS Academic Decathlon Team earned second place in Division 2 at the Orange County Awards Ceremony. The team received a plaque and second place medals for all team members. They also received a plaque and medals for placing fifth in the Super Quiz competition.
The Golden Hawk’s overall score incredibly high, ranking them tenth overall among all 41 Orange County schools in the competition. The team was led by Kristen Mabry (12) who earned eight individual medals and a score of over 8,000 points. Sebastian Gutierrez (11) had the second highest score on the team while Vanessa Ragan (12), Dana Arneal (11), Eric Chang (11), Jason Kison (11), Cameron Kish (11), and Bobby Adams (11) also received multiple individual medals.
Yorba Linda High School
The 2017-2018 YLHS Academic Decathlon team fielded two full teams with three participating alternates. In Division 2, the Mustangs earned a plaque and recognition for our fourth place finish overall for the Super Quiz component of the tournament and 8th overall as a team for Division 2.
Some key decathletes were Jackie Pronk (12) who earned first place for speech, along with nine other medals; William Russel (12) who earned gold medals in essay, art, and interview along with four additional medals; Sydney Baugh (12) earned gold medals for essay, interview, and art, along with two other medals; Sabrina Villanueva (12) earned a fourth place medal for music; Lauren Bui (11) earned a third place medal for interview; Nick Nivinskus (11) earned two silvers and two bronzes, while Shiven Rawal (11) earned four medals. Cheryl Pham (11) earned a fourth place medal for the literature component.
“The Mustangs worked very hard and are very proud of their accomplishments,” shared the team’s proud coach,” Kelly Buchan.
To read more about OCAD, follow the link below courtesy of the Orange County Register or the Orange County Department of Education.
Irvine’s Woodbridge High wins Orange County Academic Decathlon — again – Orange County Register