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SHS academic decathlon teams claim NICE honors

by EMILY BONSANT
Staff Writer | November 14, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Sandpoint High School Academic Decathlon teams took on Priest River Lamanna High School’s team at the North Idaho Competition of Excellence on Oct. 23.

Two of SHS's teams finished first and second and the Priest River Lamanna High School team came in third.

The first-place SHS team scored 35,129 out of a possible 60,000, with the second-place team not far behind with 32,958 points.

This year’s topic is “water: a most essential resource” said SHS teacher and Academic Decathlon coach Dana Stockman.

In Academic Decathlon, students study art, literature, science, social science, music, and economics as they relate to the theme and mathematics. At competition, students take tests in those seven subjects, with essay, interview, and speech making up the other three events of the decathlon, said Stockman.

A total of 30 students competed all day at the Oct. 23 meet, hosted by SHS. The four SHS teams totaling 22 students won a combined 32 gold medals, 29 silver medals, and 32 bronze medals.

Stockman said five Sandpoint students truly stood out at the competition: Junior Kyla LaFountain, a third-year decathlete and co-captain, who medaled in every event and earned the overall gold in the varsity division. Junior Logan Jones, also a third-year decathlete and co-captain, who medaled in nine out of ten events and earned the overall silver in the scholastic division.

Sophomore Kody Bocksch, a second-year decathlete, who also medaled in nine events and earned the overall gold in the scholastic division. Senior Bethany Badoux, a first-year decathlete, who medaled in six events and earned the overall silver in the honors division; and sophomore Alex Kingma, a second-year decathlete, who also medaled in six events and earned the overall gold in the honors division.

Kingma was also the overall highest scoring decathlete of the competition, with a score of 7,205 out of 10,000 points, said Stockman.

The students are now hard at work preparing for their second meet, Idaho Academic Decathlon Invitational on Dec. 11 for the North and West regions. In the North region SHS and PRLHS are the only schools competing. Regional competitions for the North, Central, and West regions will be Jan. 29.

The SHS Decathletes’ ultimate goal is to win their fourth state championship in a row in March at Marising High School, said Stockman.

The Idaho Academic Decathlon’s mission is to develop and provide academic competitions, curriculum, and assessment to promote learning and academic excellence through teamwork among students of all achievement levels.

The IAD officials said they endeavor to provide enriching educational experiences that combine the relevant study of cultural and critical topics with strong reasoning and interpersonal skills.

The value of the competitions, projects and activities lies in each participant’s stretching his or her capacities and bonding with others, said IAD officials. The emphasis is on the personal growth of each student, who, by meeting the challenges with honesty and integrity, reaps the rewards of greater self-knowledge and self-confidence.