Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cormier Resurrects Academic Decathlon

Joey Kucirek |Staff Writer "The Mount"
Mount Michael is an extraordinary college prep school that excels in many fields. The students here work harder than many students in other schools to achieve the very best that they can. There are plenty of activities that are offered here to help them along the way. The Academic Decathlon used to be one of these activities. Yet it has been missing from the curriculum since the early 90’s. Now, the Academic Decathlon is coming back.
The Academic Decathlon is a competition that consists of six multiple choice tests, a speech, an interview, and the Super Quiz. These events are all designed to test the participants in every possible way over a particular topic. Next year’s topic will be the country of Russia. This will make the students strive to develop a deeper respect for knowledge, help them become a better learner, achieve their goals in academic excellence, and give them academic competition between fellow classmates and students from other schools.

Head dean Dave Cormier said, “It is a great way to create the classic renaissance man, a well-rounded person. They have to be good at almost anything, from science and math to history and literature to arts and music.”

Each team has to have at least six students, two honor, two scholastic, and two varsity. Each student is categorized into these groups by their grade point average. Honor students must have a GPA of 3.75-4.00, scholastic students must have a GPA of 3.00-3.74, and varsity students must have a GPA of 0.0-2.99. This gives any student that would like to participate in this class an equal opportunity, and prevents powerhouse schools from stacking their teams with all honor students. Also, all grade levels are accepted at the competition.

The Academic Decathlon has become a popular topic of discussion around the Mount. Students have become very interested in the competition and there has been a rush of people wanting to take this class. Senior Hunter Hottovy said, “I think people that have heard about it are excited, but once the others hear about it, then they will be even more excited.” These future competitors from Mount Michael will have a opportunity to go to the events and show what they have learned about Russia.

Cormier hopes to have a class for the academic decathlon five days a week for all grade levels, but is unsure at the moment what his course of action in the classroom will be. “There are a number of things that I can teach with confidence and there are others that I can’t,” said Cormier, “But I will have Ms. Theis and Ms. Sullivan help out, too.”

The advantages of taking this class is that the students are eligible for more scholarships and can put it on their college resume. It will also be a good life experience that they can benefit from for years to come.
Mount Michael is known for excelling in academics, and the Academic Decathlon will improve its reputation even more if next year’s team does as well as the old teams used to. But, to improve this reputation, our students will have to practice diligently and work as hard as they can.