The Trumbull High School Academic Decathlon Team finished first in the state at the Connecticut/Maryland Academic Decathlon competition held on Saturday March 5, at New Fairfield High School. The THS team, comprised mainly of underclassmen, surprised perennial favorite New Fairfield with a school record score and reclaimed the state trophy for the first time in four years when THS repeated as Connecticut champions in 2011 and 2012.

Trumbull members winning gold medals in their respective divisions were: Danielle Cross in literature; Lalith Gannavaram in essay and music; Ishan Negi in science; co-Captain Daejah Woolery in interview and literature; and co-Captain Alexandra Dima in music, economics, science, and art. Dima also achieved the highest combined score in the state for the varsity division.

Each year this national student competition chooses a particular theme or epoch for participants to study and then tests their knowledge in ten exams taken over the course of a day. This year’s theme was India with Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve as the featured novel. The ten events are: art, economics, essay, interview, language & literature, math, music, social science, science, and speech.

A unique characteristic of the United States Academic Decathlon compared to other educational competitions is the requirement that each team be comprised of members with varying scholastic achievement levels.

Thus, three members must have a grade point average (GPA) of greater than 3.75; three members will possess a GPA below 3; and 3 fall somewhere in the middle. This mandate allows for greater student diversity and a more realistic representation of a school’s overall student body.  

As a result of the state win, Trumbull has been invited to the United States Academic Decathlon national competition to be held this year in Anchorage, Alaska on April 28-30. History teacher Sara Ellis, and school librarian Dean Pelligra are the team’s advisers.