Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School’s Academic Decathlon Team is the Georgia State Champion for the 9th time. The team is made up of Lisa Beck, Zach Carter, Daniel O’Steen, Jackson Lewis, Jessica Chandler, Shannon Kinsey, Eden Muina, Jewel Okoronkwo, Shaili Patel, and Benjamin Sprayberry.

Academic Decathlon is a nation-wide competition that involves acquiring knowledge of a specific area of study.  Students compete in mathematics and economics; language and literature, science, and social science, which are centered around each year’s theme; and three subjective events: prepared speech, impromptu speech, and essay.  This year’s theme is “The 1960’s:  A Transformational Generation,” and the science focus is on lasers. 

The rules of Academic Decathlon require that these students are not all A+ students.  Students are divided equally into three categories:  Honors division students have A averages, Scholastic division students have B averages, and Varsity students have C averages or below.  

LFO’s Decathlon team is a diverse group individually, which makes the road to success for them even more difficult.  The students participate, learn, and earn success despite many other extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and economic and family hardships.  One decathlete lost her mother tragically in February and now lives with a grandparent; one is emancipated and does not live with family or parents;  three are victims of domestic and/or drug abuse;  four work part-time jobs in order to help their parents make ends meet at home.  In addition to their all-too-adult responsibilities, two play in the Jazz band and marching band, one is active in the LFO Winterguard, one is a State Champion in the DECA Club, one is a student coach of LFO’s football team, two volunteer through the National Honor Society, four have been finalists for the Georgia Governor’s Honors program, and all study their Decathlon materials on their own time after school and on weekends.  

These students are leaders on the field, in the gym, in the classroom, and in the school community.  WRCB congratulates them on this outstanding academic achievement.