Although Pearland High School claims several national Academic Decathlon successes, this year’s team has gone where no PHS Academic Decathlon team has gone before.
At the national finals in California April 16-18, PHS decathletes captured the No. 2 spot in the nation — their highest rank ever.
In addition, while a charter public school claimed the grand championship, the PHS team earned 51,086 points to rank No. 1 nationwide among all open-enrollment public schools.
Decathlete Zachary Watson set another record with his score of 8,755 points, which was the highest for any varsity-level student in Texas Academic Decathlon history.
PHS students’ national medals and awards included:
Ethan Arnold: Gold in math, economics and science; silver in art and social science; bronze in language/literature and music and Reinauer Economics Scholarship
Jimmy Thai: Gold in interview, silver in social science and bronze in essay and music
SaraBeth Matthews: Gold in art and social science
Garret Mattila: Gold in language/literature, silver in social science and bronze in art
Samuel Holmes: Silver in economics and bronze in social science
Zachary Watson: Gold in art and economics; silver in essay, language/literature, science, social science and speech; bronze in music and overall varsity silver medalist
Dakota Dock: Silver in art and speech, bronze in economics and social science and Founder’s Award for Most Improved Varsity Score
Other teammates included Micah Gautney and Savannah Segura.
Under the coaching of Robert Layne, Corey Cogswell and Scott Crossno, the Academic Decathlon teammates committed hours of hard work to study the 2014-15 Academic Decathlon topic “Alternatives in Energy: Ingenuity and Innovation” while increasing their knowledge in multiple subjects and skills in speech, interview and essay.
“We are extremely proud of the effort these students exhibited over the past nine months to achieve such a high level of success. Nine students came together as a team and accomplished the goals they had established last May — it’s very rewarding for all of us when we see that happen,” Layne said.