We are excited to share all five DMPS high schools have qualified for the Iowa Academic Decathlon State Competition in March. Des Moines Public Schools has more academic choices than any other public school district or non-public school in Iowa. Come Here. Become THE BEST YOU Here. Below, Jolene Teske, DMPS Advanced Learning Supervisor, introduces us to the academic coaches and students, and shares more about the competition.

Academic Decathlon teams from Des Moines East, Des Moines Hoover, Des Moines Lincoln, Des Moines North, and Des Moines Roosevelt have all qualified for Iowa Academic Decathlon State Competition to be held in Urbandale on March 3 & 4. Team members from these three schools will be competing for individual medals and trophies, team awards, and the chance to represent Iowa in Frisco, Texas, at the national competition in April!

Des Moines East and Lincoln have veteran coaches, Brian Koch at East and Sandra Laugk and Daniel Nizzi at Lincoln. Both schools were represented well and are ready to move to the next level.

Des Moines Hoover’s coach is Megan Kinder-Smith. She was a first-year coach last year and led her team to a National Online Competition! The team is working hard to make sure they’re able to make the National berth again!

Des Moines North and Des Moines Roosevelt both have new coaches this year. DC Smith and Jennifer Kix are leading the Polar Bear team at North, and Micheal Davenport and Tim Dowler are leading the Rough Rider team at Roosevelt. All are excited that they qualified for state and look forward to continuing their work in preparation.

Volunteers needed! If you are interested in volunteering at State Decathlon in Urbandale, please contact jolene.teske@dmschools.org. Volunteers are needed to proctor testing and judge speeches and interviews. We provide the training, so no previous experience is necessary!

Iowa Academic Decathlon R, a division of United States Academic Decathlon R, is an academic competition comprised of ten events. Students from large and small schools around the state compete for awards, advancement, and scholarships. Preparation usually begins in August at the beginning of the school year and continues through the scrimmage in December, regional competition in January, state competition in March, and national competition in April.

Teams consist of up to 9 students, and each team has three divisions of three students: Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity. Divisions are determined by the grade point averages of the students as calculated from the student’s previous two school year grades in core courses, except freshmen, whose are calculated based on 8th grade core grades only. Students with a calculated USAD grade point average of 3.80 – 4 compete in the Honors division against other Honors students, students with a calculated USAD grade point average of 3.20 – 3.79 compete in the Scholastic division against other Scholastic students, and students with a calculated USAD grade point average of 3.19 and below compete in the Varsity division against other Varsity students.

The team score is then calculated from the two top highest scoring individual scores in each grade point division. The top two highest scoring Honors students, the top two highest scoring Scholastic students, and the top two highest scoring Varsity students’ points are added together to determine the team score. Teams can be viable with only six students if there are two students competing in each grade point division; however, the best teams are those that have individual students within grade point divisions competing against each other to have their score count.

All team members must participate in all ten events. Of the ten events, seven are objective multiple choice: mathematics, economics, art, music, language and literature, social science, and science. Three of the events are subjective performances: speech, interview, and essay. In Iowa, the essay portion is not conducted until the state competition in March. The remaining nine events are used for the scrimmage and regionals.

Congratulations to all, and good luck to our coaches and students headed to the Iowa Academic Decathlon State Competition!

Brody Baker
Autumn Schuler
Kimmy Phan
Karlie Flam
Alex Beveridge
Chris Ramirez Chavez
Carter Hexamer

Linda Van Sui Dim
Ashley Stevens
Elisabeth Lai
Alison De Luna
Aidan Jones
Tim Le
Carmela Davidson
Charles Roff
Calvin Dang

Jaenelle Bryant
Owen Comiskey
Carter Christie
Isabella Moyer
Dylan Klier
Raquel Echeverria
Ronan Norton
Aaliyah McGee
Charlie Berhow

Romas Pokhrel
Genesis Trujillo-Lopez
Roman Hoffman
Aiden Nissen
Lillie Mahaffey

Ava Speers
Logan Corwin
Joseph Zambreno
Sailor Schervish
Owen Brown
Angel Toluwalase
Camille Page
Sam Ulrickson
Sid Johnson

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