Catoosa County’s Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School won the 2016 PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon (GAD) State Championship. It is the sixth time that the high school has captured the event’s top honor. The team scored the highest points overall in Division I and II and was presented the Howard Stroud Championship Trophy. This year’s two-day academic competition was held on Feb. 26 and 27 at Berkmar High School in Gwinnett County. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe is a Division II, or small-school (based on school population size) participant, and will be submitted as the Georgia representative to the annual U.S. Academic Decathlon (USAD) National Competition, which will be held April 28-30, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Division II (or small school) winners include: Division II Champion Catoosa County’s Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, coached by Lisa Beck and Ian Beck; First Runner-up Muscogee County’s Shaw High School, coached by Natasha Torres and Alice Mendez; and Second Runner-up Richmond County’s A. R. Johnson Health, Science and Engineering Magnet School, coached by Dr. Amanda Litfin and Philip Grabowskii. 

The state competition is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), the PAGE Foundation, the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Oglethorpe Power. Kennesaw State University serves as a partner with the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon by hosting and providing expert speakers for the GAD Fall Workshop and providing and coordinating the more than 200 volunteers needed during the state championship competition. 

Approximately 200 high school students from 23 high schools representing 13 school districts competed in the academic event. During the competition, students were tested in seven content areas: economics, art, language and literature, mathematics, science, social science and music. In addition, students earned points individually in three communication events: public speaking, personal interview and written essay. The program is unique because each nine-member team is made up of three "A", or Honor students; three "B", or Scholastic students; and three "C", or Varsity students. Each year the program features a different overall curriculum topic. “India” is this year’s topic.

The 2016 PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon State Champion Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School team members include Coaches Ian and Lisa Beck, Alaina Joyner, Valerie King, Selma Kajtazovic, Binal Patel, Traci Gray, John Christopher, Jacob Elliott, John Muina, Ben Harden, Addison Smith and Abigail Follett.

An additional $5,000 is needed to help defray their travel expenses to the USAD Nationals Competition, which will be held in Anchorage, Alaska in late April.