Two CCISD Teams Attend Academic Decathlon State Finals
Academic Decathlon teams from Clear Lake High School and Clear Springs High School competed at the 2023 Texas Academic Decathlon State Meet held in San Antonio on February 24-26, 2023.
The Clear Lake team placed ninth overall among all large school districts. Minasha Gunarathna, a junior, placed third in art and essay and first in speech, which she also received the only perfect score for her division. Junior Amelia Weiss placed third in art and second in speech for her division. Senior Chase Demel placed first in music.
Clear Springs was ranked 12th in the state. Senior Parker Jia won first in the literature, essay and science competition and second in art for the Honors division. Eliza Hoffman was second in math and third in interview for her division and Arya Chakrabarti was second in math for his division.
“Students start their work in the summer and then dedicate a lot of time during the first semester during and after school to prepare for every competition area,” said Clear Lake Academic Decathlon Coach Alex Moore. “Their efforts individually also impact the success of the team overall, so they take it very seriously.”
Both teams qualified for State with 78 other teams after being named as finalists in the regional competition in January. Decathletes participate in 10 total events. This includes interviews, delivering speeches, writing essays and taking exams in art, economics, literature, math, music, science and social science. The 2022-2023 National Academic Decathlon theme was The American Revolution and the New Nation.
“This year has been really special for me because Clear Springs volunteered to host the Region V competition, where we won first place overall, which we have never won before,” said Clear Springs Academic Decathlon Coach William Chiang. “It was a milestone that our students achieved through working hard on their own and as a team. My assistant coach, Kristen King, and I are very proud of their accomplishments.”
The United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) is a program that provides high school students of all academic levels an opportunity to experience the challenges of rigorous competition through participation in team activities. In addition, the Academic Decathlon involves members of the business/industry as active supporters of a program promoting academic excellence.
Full list of student participants:
Clear Lake High School
Chase Demel – 12th grade
Raneem Ghadai – 9th grade
Minasha Gunarathna – 11th grade
Cynthia Huang – 11th grade
Sami Madsen – 12th grade
Daniel Rainer – 12th grade
Hayden Smith – 11th grade
Amelia Weiss – 11th grade
Matthew Kievit – 12th grade
Head Coach: Alex Moore
Assistant Coach: Ashley Kennedy
Clear Springs High School
Arya Chakrabarti – 10th grade
Eliza Hoffman – 11th grade
Hiroki Ikegami – 11th grade
Parker Jia – 12th grade
Stella Le – 12th grade
Roni Miller – 12th grade
Cole Prouty – 11th grade
Lily Thivierge – 12th grade
Head Coach: William Chiang
Assistant Coach: Kristen King