Mission accomplished as AcDec advances


provided by Gary Mumford

Junior Andrew Sen, sophomore Ethan Walker, junior Jackson Hawk, senior Nihar Degaonkar, sophomore Thrisha Malireddy, sophomore Sofia Calderon, sophomore Ella Gong, and junior Chelsea Kang pose for a picture at the Academic Decathlon region competition on Friday and Saturday at McKinney High School.

Melody Tavallaee, Managing Editor

Advancing to state was the goal and for the school’s academic decathlon team it was mission accomplished at region competition Friday and Saturday at McKinney High School.

“Many students stood out at the competition,” AcDec coach Gary Mumford said. “Chelsea Kang got third place overall in interview, Juan Cuen got second place overall in interview, and Ella Gong got third place in essay, and out of all the hundreds of students that were there, it’s very impressive.”

Preparing for weeks leading up to the competition, the team is pleased with its performance.

“I think it went pretty well, our team did their best and we won some prizes,” senior Juan Cuen said. “I think our results are pretty good and I think it went relatively well. I’m very proud of the team because they put in a whole lot of work.”

Despite facing a few obstacles, the team prevailed in the end due to what Mumford believes was hard work and dedication.

“I was happy with the end result because we had some setbacks and we still qualified for state, but the kids tried really hard,” Mumford said. “One of our team members wasn’t able to be there the second day, so we were unsure whether we could qualifying for state, but we did so we’re open to improve quite a bit at at state.”

I was happy with the end result because we had some setbacks and we still qualified for state, but the kids tried really hard,”

— AcDec coach Gary Mumford said.

For first time AcDec competitor and sophomore Ella Gong, the competition provided her reassurance in her skills and rewarded her for her efforts leading up to competition.

“I got a bronze medal in the honors category of writing an essay which surprised me because I do not have a lot of faith in my writing skills,” she said. “I’m really proud of being able to get that because that gives me a little confidence that I know what I’m doing and I hope to do better than this year.”

With the state competition March 8-10 at Collin College, the team is already looking ahead and working to refine their skills and improve their performance.

“They need to do is try to focus on the areas they did the worst because there’s 10 subject areas, because it has the most room for improvement,” Mumford said. “Besides encouragement, I mainly try to work with them to finding out what they need to focus on and we have practice sessions twice a week in the class, but the students that aren’t in the class, they have to work on their own.”