• This Is Rutherford

The RHS Academic Decathlon Team Makes It To Nationals

Information submitted by Jason Narozny and Brian Ersalesi

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photo Credit: Jason Narozny

Rutherford High School’s Academic Decathlon Team has been working extremely hard all school year and their efforts have certainly brought them great success. At the beginning of February, they won Second Place in the Super Quiz portion of the Regional Competition. The RHS Academic Decathlon Advisor, Mr. Jason Narozny, explained that the team felt confident as they competed in 10 different subjects against 11 other teams from the area. During this Regional competition, 77 individual awards were given to RHS Academic Decathlon members as well. Some of these awards included:


Tierra Sherlock: 10 for 10, with an award in each category, including Gold in Speech


Christina Scanlon: 8 out of 10, with Gold in Music and Art


Matt Peeples: 8 out of 10, with Gold in Literature and Science, second-highest scorer in his category.


Kara Brennan: 7 out of 10, with Gold in Art & History, second-highest scorer in her category.


Huda Oskui: 6 out of 10, third-highest scorer in her category

The students were honored at a dinner in the RHS Cafeteria on Wednesday, February 5th along with teams from all over the region.

Christina Scanlon and Tierra Sherlock at the National Championship

The State Competition was held on February 29th. During this Competition, the RHS AD team became the Medium school winner and will be going to Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska. Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Jack Hurley, told TIR, "I am very proud of the team, Mr. Narozny and all the volunteers on wining the medium school state championship. The hard work and dedication paid off." The team also won 40 individual awards including:


Kara Brennan won 8 awards, including 3 gold medals and a 3rd place overall in her category.


Matt Peeples also took 3rd place overall in his category, while collecting 5 other awards including gold for Interview.


Tierra Sherlock was named Team MVP, which was voted on by the team.


Mr. Narozny told TIR, “This is the third time Rutherford has gone to Nationals, but the first time we’ve ever left the continental U.S. to do it!”

In the photo above: MIke Kaufman, Aidan Gryskiewicz, Huda Oskui, Kara Brennan, Karolina Wisniewski, Stefan Wisniewski, Emily Feza, Christina Scanlon (w/ the trophy), Beth Wloch-Rapetti, Marina Alduk, Sami Abuauad, Tierra Sherlock, Matt Peeples, Prerana Thippesha, James Kim, Jason Narozny, and Kevin Noh.


Mr. Narozny explained, “The team was out of their minds with anxiety all night. About five of the team members had to rush to the awards dinner from their first Musical performance, arriving with stage make-up still on! Once the awards began to be announced, the team wasn't winning as much as they did at Regionals, mainly because the State competition is so much more competitive. Halfway through the night, most of the team was convinced we weren't going to win our division. But as the final team rankings were announced, and 5th, 4th, and 3rd places still hadn't included Rutherford, reality set in that we were going to Alaska. All the stress of the past year finally was let go and they were all able to breathe again! After collecting our trophy and taking pictures, the conversation quickly turned to flights and hotels and glaciers!”


Principal of Rutherford High School, Mr. Frank Morano, told TIR, "I could not be more proud of our students, Mr. Narozny and other staff members that have contributed to their success.  The students put a great deal of effort and time into preparing for their competitions and it is wonderful to see them succeed at such a high level.  I am sure they will continue to make the entire community proud in Alaska during nationals."


In preparation for the National Competition which will take place April 30th through May 2nd, the Academic Decathlon team will continue to study and prepare for the competition.


With many seniors graduating this year there will be open spots in the A and B categories in the Academic Decathlon team. The topic will be The Cold War, Science: Astronomy, and the Novel: Cat’s Cradle.


To learn more about Academic Decathlon, visit this link.

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