Academic Decathlon: A Comeback

Jasmine Jaros

Harriton’s revamped Academic Decathlon team is turning the heads of local competition. The team recently won at Renaissance Academy in Phoenixville, PA, its first scrimmage this competing season, placing first in the region, raking in a total of over 27,000 points.
Here are the medal winners:

Gold
David Graeffe- Art
David Graeffe- Super Quiz Relay
Won Chung- Math
Sam Alexander- Interview
Jake Marks- Music
Jake Marks- Language and Literature
Jake Marks- Super Quiz Relay
Steve Tromley- Math
Jessica Vitale- Interview
Jaye Aster Broder- Super Quiz Relay

Silver
Liz Bacarella- Music
Ian Hunt-Isaak- Art
Ian Hunt-Isaak- Language and Literature
Jordan Rosenthal-Kay- Interview
Jake Marks- Math

Bronze
Jasmine Jaros- Art
Jasmine Jaros- Music
Jasmine Jaros- Interview
Sarah Weiser- Math
Liz Bacarella- Math
David Graeffe- Interview
Ian Hunt-Isaak- Super Quiz Relay
Jake Marks- Art
Steve Tromley- Super Quiz Relay
Josh Ross- Super Quiz Relay

In past years, A.D. has taken a backseat to other clubs at Harriton, but a new record is starting a new tradition.

“Harriton A.D. is really starting on a clean slate,” says senior Liz Bacarella.
Mr. Kritzer adds, “There is a new commitment by the students and so far their hard work has paid off.”

United States Academic Decathlon, or USAD, known as AD for short, is composed of series of ten subjects based on specific historical eras, in which teams of nine students from each school may compete.

The subjects are Math, Music, Art, Economics, Social Science, Super Quiz, Speech, Interview, and Essay.

Students are split up into Honors, Scholastic, or Varsity teams depending on their GPA. They compete with other students, but only within their own divisions.

All students are required to compete in every subject in competitions for regionals, states, and then nationals. Each competition year is dominated by one assigned theme, and this year’s overall theme is the Age of Empires, focusing on European colonialism and its impact on the world.

Mr. Kritzer and Ms. Gehret, the coaches of AD, provide their expertise in the areas of Economics and Mathematics, respectively. Their tutelage has turned these previously two most difficult A.D. subjects into a strong suit of the Harriton Academic Decathlon team.
The team hopes that their hard work toward both of these subjects will pay off in upcoming competitions.

The latest competition was held at Phoenixville on December 10th, which was their second of three scrimmages before regionals.

The team has been meeting weekly and is currently reviewing presentation for its prepared speeches. Any subject may be chosen as the topic for the speech, giving students the opportunity to express unique creativity.

The team has also been cracking down on the music and art sections, as their next upcoming competition will be the last time to compete in these subjects in the ASL (Academic Sports League.)

At regionals the team must place in one of the top three spots in order to continue onto states. They hope to do well through the rest of their academic competing season and qualify for the state competition in Erie this March.

All students are welcomed to join Academic Decathlon. Anyone interested is encouraged to contract either Mr. Kritzer or Ms. Gehret.