Record-setting win for Casa Grande

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The Casa Grande High Academic Decathlon Team is the North Bay Region Academic Decathlon champion and, for the 33rd straight year, the Sonoma County champion. Casa Grande was victorious in the North Bay Region from among 18 teams from 14 schools. Casa Grande had one of its highest point totals ever with more than 51,000 points out of a possible 65,000.

Vanden High School from Solano County was second and St. Helena High School from Napa County was third.

Casa Grande won the only public event in the competition in an exciting Super Quiz at the Solano Community College Gym last Saturday.

Casa Grande students won an amazing 68 individual medals in the 10-subject tests or events. This year the 10-subject tests that are taken by each student were: Art history and theory, World War II history, Economics, Mathematics, Essay writing, Music theory and music from the WW II era, Nuclear Chemistry and Physics, Speech, Interview, and Literature.

Casa Grande students had their best results in Speech (10 medals) and Nuclear chemistry and physics (9 medals).

“This victory is the result of the 28 students on Casa Grande’s complete team roster working hard for nearly a year of reading and discussing these topics through last summer and this school year, coupled with the sound education they are enjoying at Casa Grande High,” said team coach Rick Pillsbury. “I could not be prouder of their academic accomplishments and their support for each other throughout the year.

“The highlight for me is the speech competition, when they face and conquer the fear of speaking in front of judges. This is the most emotional event of the competition, and helps build their very important self confidence.”

The nine highest-scoring decathletes will be representing Sonoma County in the California Academic Decathlon Championships in mid-March in Sacramento.

The Sonoma County Championships, with four teams, are held simultaneously with the Regional Championships.

Casa’s nine competing students were Nico Carballal, Salem Ali and Jessica Tang in Honors; Omar Khan, Nick Eaton and Harrison Bosque in Scholastic and David Wheatman, Kylie Houck and Amber Zeng in Varsity.

The team is coached by Pillsbury and Sarah Obbagy.

The team is funded entirely by contributions from organizations and individuals. Funds are used to pay the registration fees and housing to attend the state competition. Funds also are used to purchase books and practice tests that will be given out to next year’s team to be read over the summer.

The annual Casa budget is about $5,000. Donations may be made to “Casa Grande Academic Decathlon” and mailed to Rick Pillsbury, 333 Casa Grande Road, Petaluma, 94954.

Five medals for PHS

Petaluma High had five students win medals in the stiff competition.

Amy Ferrick earned a bronze medal in the Essay competition. Hanlin Manchester earned gold in Essay. Danny Marzo, Manchester (12) and Alex Foreman (12) all earned silver medals in Interview. Grant Henderson earned a bronze medal on the Math test.

“Congratulations to the students from Casa Grande as well as Rick Pillsbury for another excellent performance,” said Petaluma coach Andrew Aja. “It’s amazing to see such a consistently high level of performance from their program. I am sure they will represent Sonoma County well at the State Championships in March.

Contributions to the Petaluma High School team may be made to “Petaluma Academic Decathlon” and mailed to 201 Fair Street, Petaluma, CA 94952.

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