The accomplishments of AcaDec


Photo courtesy: Mrs. Elysa Martineau

Acadec students seniors Emilie Correz and Esmy Quinones pause to pose for a picture during a practice session.

The RCHS Academic Decathlon team placed third in the county out of 30 schools in their competition on Saturday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Feb. 5, which was a high enough score for Rancho to compete in the the Division Two state finals.  

In the county competition, Senior Connor Neely was number one top scorer in the, and senior Katelin Wallace-Rudolph received a perfect score and first place in speech.

“We all breathed a sigh of relief, knowing we at least did better than last year,” said Neely. “It’s great to know I was able to lead a team shaken by the pandemic back to the top 3. Of course, the goal is always to regain the first place title, so we can’t settle there!”

AcaDec members Connor Neely, Jonathan Ly, Aya Suleiman, Sachman Pannu, Katelin Wallace-Rudolph, Debanhi Magana Aguilar, Emilie Correz, and Esmerelda Quinones competed in the virtual state competition on which was held on Saturday, March 5 and Saturday, March 12. 

I feel like my students did really well this year,” said Ms. Elysa Martineau, the AcaDec adviser. “Especially coming out of the Covid year, they really buckled down and took care of business.” 

To prepare for these competitions, AcaDec put in a lot of hard work and preparation. “We did a lot of practice tests, essays, speeches, and interviews in class. They also made flashcards and formal lessons in class,” said Martineau.

AcaDec has done exceptionally well this year. When asked if he recommends people joining, Neely said, “Definitely! It certainly isn’t for everyone, but chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s a mechanism for personal growth, connects you with an amazing group of people, and looks great on college applications.”