Perry students shine at Academic Decathlon

Daniela Santacruz, Jose Chavez, Jenna Lawson, Jefry Gonzalez, Bryce Eastman, Lucas Davis, and Molly Moorhead recently competed for Perry High School at the Regional Academic Decathlon. The team is coached by Teresa Kresse, with Lisa Schumacher assisting. Photo courtesy Perry High School.

DES MOINES — Seven Perry High School students competed in the Des Moines Academic Decathlon Regional event Jan. 28-29.

As part of the regional competition, students were tested in art, economics, interview, literature, mathematics, music, science, social science, and speech. Each responded to 50 questions in a 30-minute timed assessment, with mathematics judged on 35 questions.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, all contests were done virtually via Zoom for both interview and speech while using U.S. Academic Decathlon online testing programs for specific assessments.

Based upon Aca Deca GPA’s the seven Perry students competed at three different levels.

Sophomores Jose Chavez and Jefry Gonzalez were involved at the Varsity level, junior Bryce Eastman and senior Jenna Lawson at the Scholastic level, and senior Daniela Santacruz and juniors Molly Moorhead and Lucas Davis at the Honors level.

The PHS septet combined to earn a total of 40 ribbons, and four medals while placing first overall for small schools.

Chavez placed first in Interview, second in Science and Speech, and third in Economics, Literature, Math, Music, and Social Science. He earned a second-place silver medal for small schools.

Gonzalez earned top honors in Art, Literature, and Music and placed third in Interview and Science. He secured a gold medal for small schools.

Eastman, competing in her first year, was first in Speech and Math, second in Economics and Literature and earned third-place ribbons for Interview, Music, Science, and Social Science. She won a bronze medal in Scholastic level overall for small schools.

Lawson was a gold medal winner for small schools after finishing first in Economics, Interview, Literature, and Science, second in Art and Social Science and third in Math and Speech.

Moorhead, a first-time decathlete at Honors level, was first in Speech and second in Music.

Davis, a second-year competitor at the same level, placed first in Interview, second in Speech, and third in both Economics and Science.

Senior Santacruz earned second-place ribbons in Literature and Math and a third-place ribbon in Music.

All seven have qualified for the State Academic Decathlon, scheduled for March 5-6. In addition to the nine categories at the regional level, the state event requires an essay from each entrant. The top 24 scoring large and highest 24 small schools will all be competing for plaudits.

The PHS team is coached by Teresa Kresse, with Lisa Schumacher assisting.


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