AcaDec gets 5 individual medals at state finals


Photo by Courtesy of Ms. Naomi McCall

Elijah Tabion, Brissa Christophersen, Ilena Burk, Madison Williams, Makayla Imaoka, and Dylan Falces. KSM students placed fourth at the Academic Decathlon at Waiakea High School, March 7-8.

By Destinee Murray, features editor

The academic decathlon team received two silver and three bronze medals this year at the Hawai’i Academic Decathlon at Waiakea High School on Mar. 7 and 8.

“I beat out a lot of Hilo High School honors students,” junior Makayla Imaoka said, “and it felt really good [because] all but one of the members are home schooled.” This is Imaoka’s second year on the  team.

This year’s team included senior Madison Williams, Imaoka, and freshman Dylan Falces representing the honors members (with GPAs of 3.75-4.0). For the scholastic component (GPAs of 3.0-3.74), there were senior Elijah Tabion, senior Brissa Christophersen, and junior Ilena Burk. The adviser for the team is Ms. Naomi McCall.

Students in each division of the team represent three different grade point average ranges. The GPA is completely different than the typical high school GPA. Official guidelines to properly calculate GPAs can be found on the official US Academic Decathlon website, but basically, GPAs are calculated based on only core classes for the last two years.

Imaoka placed second and Falces placed third in the interview category. Burk placed second and Tabion placed third for essay, and Christophersen placed third for math.

Everyone must compete in all 10 events, plus take a team test on all subjects except math. Each event is linked thematically. The theme this year was renewable energy, and next year the topic will be India.

“The KSM AcaDec team seems to be getting stronger.  Experience helped, but this year’s topic was not as engaging as past ones,” Ms. McCall said.

Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i won overall of the five schools competing. The other schools were Hilo High School and Honoka’a High School and Elementary.

Winners of each event will represent Hawai’i at the national conference in Garden Grove, Ca. in April.