PYLUSD students soar at Orange County Academic Decathlon

On Saturday, Jan. 30, and Saturday, Feb. 6, all four comprehensive high schools in PYLUSD competed against over 30 other Orange County high schools in the Orange County Academic Decathlon (OCAD). This event invites public and private high school students to compete in a series of academic tests and demonstrations.

The topics covered a variety of academic disciplines, including art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science, and speech.

Needless to say, PYLUSD students rose to the challenge, and took home many awards.

El Dorado High School
El Dorado had several individual first place finishers, including:

  • Erik Nilsen: mathematics and science
  • Adam Gorny: speech
  • Ben May: language and literature, science, and social science

Esperanza High School
Esperanza earned 20 subject medals, and at least one medal in each of 10 categories. Students on the team include:

  • Vanessa Adams (senior): second in language and literature and social science, and fourth in music
  • Anthony Buschini (senior): first in art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, social science, and speech, and second in science
  • Emilee Carr (sophomore): third in speech, and fifth in interview
  • Eric Choi (senior): fourth in social science
  • Ethan Moll (junior): fourth in music
  • Ryan Salcido (junior)
  • Colleen Valdez (senior): third in speech, fourth in math and fifth in art

Additionally, Anthony earned a medal in every decathlon category, which placed him second place overall in Orange County. He also won $800 in scholarship money to be used toward college. There are nearly 500 students who compete in Orange County, and this is an incredible achievement!

Finally, the Esperanza team captured second place in Super Quiz, and second team overall in Orange County Division 2. Of the 43 schools participating in academic decathlon, Esperanza is eighth overall in Orange County.

esperanza-ocad-2 esperanza-ocad-3 esperanza-ocad-4 esperanza-ocad-5

Valencia High School
Congrats to coaches Danielle Connor, Mindi Foote, Fred Jenkins, Kay Kerby and Sam Myovich, as well as Valencia’s entire team for capturing first place in Super Quiz, and second team overall in Orange County Division 1. VHS had the highest combined ranking between these two awards, and is one of only four teams in the county advancing to the state competition in Sacramento next month. All team members earned medals, and they are listed below.

  • Susan Bai
  • Ashley Chen
  • Sienna Chen
  • Joyce Chew
  • Jordan Ehrman
  • Linda Feregrino
  • Nathalie Hong
  • Naadir Jamal
  • Jacob Leiken
  • Andrew Nguyen
  • Tiffany Nguyen
  • Rojan Rijal
  • Daniel Ticknor
  • James Wang


Yorba Linda High School

  • George Abdallah: first in economics, science and speech, second in social science, third in mathematics, fourth in language and literature, and fifth in art.
  • William Behvandi: second in art, and fifth in economics and social science
  • Max Ferguson: first in essay, second in science, and fourth in economics and social science
  • Catherine Han: first in mathematics and speech, and third in interview
  • David Hernaiz: fourth in interview, and fifth in art and music
  • Nikhil Patolia: fifth in math and social science
  • Sumesh Rawal: first (and a perfect score!) in interview
  • William Russell: first in art, and fourth in essay and music

The Yorba Linda team also captured second place in Super Quiz — a huge improvement over last year’s fifth place honor — and third team overall.

yorba-linda-ocad-1 yorba-linda-ocad-2

For more information, click here. Congrats to all PYLUSD academic decathletes!

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