learn2teachWhile most college students spent their spring break on vacation, spending time with friends or relaxing at home, I spent my spring break preparing high school students for their Academic Decathlon State Competition.

What is Academic Decathlon? Academic Decathlon is a team competition where students match their intellects with students from other high schools. No, this isn’t an academic challenge or Jeopardy-style competition – this is the premier scholastic competition popular throughout the United States. Students are tested in 10 categories: art, economics, essay, interview, literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. This year’s theme was the French Revolution.

For the past two years, I have voluntarily helped my older brother’s Decathlon team at Youngstown Christian High School in Ohio. The decathlon season consists of local, regional and state competitions. Each year Gannon University – like other universities – holds Academic Decathlon Competitions awarding medals and offering large scholarships.

As a former decathlete, my goal was to bring personal experience and enthusiasm to my brother’s team. Throughout the year, I have watched my brother’s team grow academically and personally. I saw these students study a plethora of material: reading Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” memorizing important dates of the French Revolution and analyzing artworks of the 18th century. More importantly, these students have been able to prepare for college by learning interview skills, giving speeches and writing essays.

On March 6, at the Academic Decathlon Ohio State Competition, Youngstown Christian High School won the Division III State Championship. As I watched these students receive medal after medal, I felt a rush of accomplishment and satisfaction.

This feeling assured me that I have entered the right field. As an educator, I want to see students succeed and truly excel in school and in life.



Stuff you might also like: Check out what other Gannon students did on their alternative spring break trips!

Interested in being an education major like David? Register for Gannon’s Education Day, happening on Monday!