Education Matters: 3 Fresno County Schools Compete in State College Decathlon
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) — Competing in the state competition for the academic decathlon is nothing new for Fresno University High School.
His team has won the State Small School Championship 12 times.
“It’s a team sport par excellence where people have to help each other. You must cooperate with each other. You have to work together and help develop them,” explained Sean Canfield of University High School.
In this year’s state competition, University High will be crowded, with three more Fresno County schools making it to the state finals.
“My first reaction was kind of like we were shocked and really surprised, but it was a nice surprise for sure,” said Angelique Duvet-Tovar of Sanger High School.
Sanger, Clovis North, and Firebaugh High Schools all won bids to compete at the state level.
In Firebaugh and Sanger’s case, this will be their first trip to Sacramento.
“I found out about it in the middle of class and when I got a notification on my phone from my teammates saying we were going to make it, let’s say I liked a happy little dance,” Samantha Harper said. .
Harper, 16, was on last year’s team and remembers what it was like trying to prepare and compete when schools were online.
I struggled a lot, yeah, and I wasn’t very attentive in class and I think that had a bit of an impact on my score,” Harper explained.
After doing extremely well in 2020, Sanger played near the bottom last year, coming back this year to take third overall and winning the Most Improved Team award was a thrill.
It’s really good and I feel special to have been able to I think this whole team like we really deserved. I saw how we studied, saw how we worked there and I think we earned it,” said Evan Cortes of Sanger High School.
Duvet-Tovar, coached Sanger’s academic decathlon team for 15 years.
She says that for her it is about developing each student, allowing them to build relationships and being proud of what they have achieved.
“To do all of this and allow them to realize, I think it’s an incredible opportunity that you know they kind of have the opportunity to show at the state level and compete with you, the best and the brightest in the state.”