On Saturday, March 3, the Academic Decathlon of the San Diego Diocese took place at Mater Dei High School. St. Didacus Parish School sent ten of its brightest students to compete alongside 23 other Catholic middle school teams for the prestigious academic awards.
Our students volunteered for the selection process in October, 2017, based upon their interest in a variety of academic subjects. Our coaches worked diligently with a beginning number of 28 students ranging from 6th to 8th grade. As the months of study passed, the adult leaders eventually chose ten team members along with eight understudies. Students, staff members, and volunteers met after school and weekends to study logic puzzles and individual subjects in preparation for the competition. These study areas included religion, math, science, social studies, fine arts, literature, English grammar, current events, and writing. In addition, whole teams studied five additional subjects and prepared for the logic portion of the competition.
The day of the decathlon arrived. It was an overcast day with periodic showers, but our spirits were certainly not dampened. There was an excitement in the air that is difficult to describe. Our students were in the company of 230 truly gifted students throughout the Catholic Diocese. All of the students were in dress uniform surrounded by their parents, teachers, and administrators. Teams were cramming the last bit of knowledge into their heads. Other groups were in prayer circles with their coaches. Everyone was so supportive of each other and the enthusiasm was absolutely electric in the auditorium. As the events of the day came to a close, our school was blessed by the students’ performances. St. Didacus won 6th place in literature (Sophie Fudge), 3rd place in English (Eliza Anderson), 2nd place in fine arts (Stella Occhialini), 2nd place in math (Josh Pajimola), 1st place in current events (Joann Cayabyab), 3rd place overall in logic, and 3rd place overall in the competition. We are so proud of our students, volunteer parents, and staff members who gave hundreds of hours of their voluntary time to achieve these great results. Thank you, God, and thank you team!