In 35th annual Academic Decathlon, the Chaffey High School 2018 Academic Decathlon team won its 7th consecutive San Bernardino County championship and its 9th county championship in ten years. CHS placed 6th out of 69 competing teams at the state level competition, tying with the finish of the 2014 CHS team. The state results mark Chaffey’s 5th Top 10 finish in the last 10 years. Here are the previous rankings: 11th (2017); 13th (2016); 6th (2014), 7th (2013), 8th (2010), 9th (2009), 17th (2010) and 20th (2011). The team’s 2018 score ranked as the 13th highest in the nation.
CHS is one of only two schools in California to finish in Division 1 in each of the past ten years. The only other is 8-time state champion El Camino Real Charter High School. Chaffey’s 10-event score is the highest in San Bernardino County history: 49,352.8 points.
Each Academic Decathlon team is made up of nine students, three from each grade point category: “A” (Honors), “B” (Scholastic) and “C” (Varsity). Students compete for individual and team awards. CHS decathlete Diana Jimenez finished with an overall score of 9,132.3 — the highest individual score ever posted by a San Bernardino County decathlete in the county’s 35-year participation in the competition.
Chaffey’s team is coached by Steve Mercado, Patty Gulino, Tom James and Erin Banis. Between 2011 and 2016, CHSAA donated $5000 each year toward team expenses for the Sacramento competition. In 2017 and 2018, at the request of the CHS principal, CHSAA donated $1500 each year for team sweaters.
In an Academic Decathlon, students take part in 10 academic events, including written tests in math, economics, music, art, language/literature, science and social sciences. The competition also requires students to write an essay, take part in an interview panel, give impromptu and prepared speeches, and participate in a Super Quiz, a college bowl-style round, featured 36 multiple choice questions.