Update: ACDEC Achieves Success at State


San Antonio — Wakeland Academic Decathlon students learn more about the Alamo, a national monument that honors the Battle of the Alamo of the Texas Revolution, and connect with each other, while competing against other top teams in the state. “It was my first time ever seeing the Alamo, and I thought it was cool…Everyone else was reading all the informational signs around the building, [and they] didn’t leave until it was closed,” Sayde Blanchette said.


Starting February 23 and ending February 26, ACDEC participated in the state competition and were successful.  As a team, they finished 8th overall in Division One out of more than 200 teams that previously competed at the regional level.  Great individual performances from Aiden Carlton with bronze in the essay, Gladys Maness with bronze in art, Alex Han with bronze in economics and science, and Soham Vishwakarma with silver in the interview contributed to the group’s high ranking.

Academic Decathlon is an extracurricular activity at Wakeland that challenges students to develop a strong understanding of rigorous subjects, while giving them the opportunity to compete as part of a team.  They are tasked to display knowledge in literature, art, music, science, math, economics, history, speech, and an interview at competitions, as well as writing an essay prior to competition.  As a team, they are divided up into three brackets based on their GPA, honors, scholastic, and varsity, to provide equal opportunity to all competitors.

“I really just enjoy [being with] my teammates…I think that they’re just all really, great, super smart people, and it’s really fun to work with them,” sophomore Sayde Blanchette said.  

As they prepared for the competitions, they learned the subjects in relation to the American Revolution, this year’s theme.

On January 27-28, the team competed at the regional competition and earned a total score of 38,031.5.  The score allowed them to finish in 5th place in their division and 23rd among medium sized schools, qualifying them for the state competition in San Antonio, where the top 40 teams in the state go.  

“I am feeling pretty [good about the performance], especially after [I medaled] in economics, something that I was really trying to work hard on,” senior and captain Aiden Carlton said.  

With the team’s hard work, they were able to have their most successful year since 2020.

“In previous years, we’ve really been struggling, especially as a team, because there hasn’t been that many people in our ACDEC class.  This year, we had such a great community and a lot of collaboration happening,” junior and captain Gladys Maness said.  

The abundant collaboration that led to the success was facilitated by the team captains, Carlton and Maness.  

“They were coming in at lunch everyday, so I had people to study with.  Aiden made a big deck of flashcards for every single subject, and we were studying them on the car ride [to the regional competition],” Blanchette said.  

As they look on to the state competition in San Antonio, on February 23-26, they will need to continue their study habits to be successful against other top teams in the state.

“I’m excited to spend time studying and hanging out with everyone in San Antonio,” Carlton said.