GHS, SGHS academic decathlon teams advance to state competition
For the third-consecutive year, academic decathlon teams at Garland and South Garland high schools are prepping to best their competition at the Texas Academic Decathlon Meet, Feb. 26-March 1 in San Antonio.
“I am always ecstatic when we qualify for state,” said SGHS world history teacher and AcDec coach David Yeatts. “I tell my students that we are not guaranteed anything and each of us must earn our spot. The core of our program revolves around the team’s work ethic. We believe that we must outwork our opponents if we ever hope to achieve success.”
The Colonels and Owls first achieved success at regionals, held in January at Rowlett High School. Thirteen GISD students from four district campuses walked away with a total of 24 medals during the event, with Garland and South collecting the most district wins.
Every year, 28 large schools, 17 medium schools and five small schools qualify for state. As two of just 50 teams across the state to advance to the next level of competition, both groups are dedicating several hours to prepare for the upcoming match.
“In years past, the coaches and I played a pivotal role in disseminating the information to our students,” Yeatts said. “Our new program this year places more emphasis on student accountability and we believe the results speak for themselves.”
South Garland—which will compete against 16 other medium schools—is heading to state ranked No. 13, a two-spot jump from its ranking last year. Garland, which is currently in 20th place, will face 27 large schools in San Antonio.
“These kids work very, very hard,” said Garland High School Principal Atticus Wisener. “They put in a lot of time and effort and hours working toward their Academic Decathlon success. We are very proud of them.”
Overall, both teams hope to secure a spot at nationals and vie for a share of $150,000 in scholarships.