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St. Raymond School students place second in Academic Decathlon


by Nancy Closs on March 25, 2021

Students from St. Raymond School placed second overall in the Archdiocese of San Francisco California Catholic Schools Academic Junior High Decathlon competition.

Students in grades 6-8 from schools throughout the Archdiocese of San Francisco competed in the Academic Decathlon held earlier this month

The Academic Decathlon consists of two team events: A logic quiz with 20 rigorous thinking problems and a super quiz with 50 multiple choice questions covering five broad academic themes. St. Raymond School placed third in the super quiz and second in the logic quiz.

There are also eight individual events testing knowledge of Roman Catholic doctrine, English, literature, science, mathematics, current events, social studies and fine arts. St. Raymond students placed in five of these eight events. Bella Svanberg placed 3rd in Fine Arts, Grace Urban placed 2nd in Science, Ryan Karr placed 1st in Literature, Emma Kane placed 1st in Religion and Sam Boyd placed 3rd in Current Events.

The competition was virtual this year, making it even more challenging than in past years. The students were only able to practice all together during the last two weeks leading up to the competition. In years past, St. Raymond students met before school and many times on weekends to study together.

The students had to take the different parts of the test in new ways, using Google sheets and a Google survey and a platform called Quiziz. Instead of all the schools gathering at one school and competing in person, each team took the test at their own school. St. Raymond utilized their gym with desks six feet apart while all connected on Zoom.

This year’s Academic Decathlon team was helped and encouraged by team members from last year, including Bella Svanberg, Patrick Boyd, Kate Ward, and Kara Merkert, who stepped forward and worked to organize the team and keep them motivated. Led by Roxana Dommer, many parents were instrumental in helping to make the competition possible for the students.

Photo (left to right): Patrick Kane, Henry Dommer, Sarah Thieman, Sam Boyd, Luca Pinheiro, Sam Malek, Emma Kane, Ryan Karr, Bella Svanberg, JJ Palazzolo, Hailey Wells, Robert Cevasco, Grace Urban