The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

Academic Decathlon’s Outstanding Season!!


Congratulations are in order for Esperanza’s varsity and junior varsity Academic Decathlon teams!

The group of 35 students finished their season with an awards ceremony last Friday where they had an excellent showing, earning a total of 77 medals between both groups.

Every year, Academic Decathlon members participate in a series of subject tests, speeches, essays, and interviews all based around a common theme. This year’s theme was “Technology and Humanity,” encompassing everything from neuroscience to Sci Fi movie soundtracks. Each school’s team is assigned a division, but individual “decathletes” compete for their awards against students in all divisions, considerably widening the competition pool. This means that, despite Esperanza’s 2nd division placement, team members competed against all 500 students that partook in this year’s competition for their event medals.

Besides individual medals (which include 47 for varsity and 30 for junior varsity), the team earned 1st-place in their division, beating out schools like Yorba Linda and Fairmont Preparatory. They also earned 2nd place in their division’s “Super Quiz,” a game-show-like event where teams work together to answer questions in front of an audience. In addition to their academic accolades, Esperanza came home with the coveted “Spirit Award,” bestowed each year upon the school that shows the most enthusiasm and team camaraderie across both social media and in-person competitions. Every year, the team can be found waving an Esperanza flag, chanting in stands, and wielding themed signs at their events as a true show of these students’ love for, not just learning, but teamwork. 

Congrats again on an excellent season decahtletes! For more information on the program, email Mrs. Nguyen-Valdez at [email protected] or visit the team Instagram page: @esperanza_acadec. 


Varsity Medals:

  1. Alex Tumakay: 8 medals (1st in economics, music, literature + science; 2nd in speech + art; 5th in math)
  2. Matthew Hoang: 7 medals (1st in art, literature + music; 2nd in essay; 3rd in social science and 4th in math + science)
  3. Emma Beelner: 6 medals (1st in speech; 2nd in interview; 3rd in art + music; 5th in math + literature)
  4. Jack Wachter: 4 medals (4th in math; 5th in literature, music + essay)
  5. Jayden Maldonado Rojas: 4 medals (1st in speech; 3rd in essay + literature; 4th in math)
  6. Cynthia Wong: 4 medals (3rd in interview; 4th in essay + social science; 5th in literature)
  7. Paola Silva: 4 medals (3rd in essay; 4th in art, economics + literature)
  8. Samantha Yokote: 3 medals (1st in literature; 3rd in art; 4th in music)
  9. Annette Byun: 2 medals (4th in interview; 5th in art)
  10. Hayley Park: 2 medals (1st in essay + art)
  11. Emi Furuichi: 1 medal (2nd in literature)
  12. Shivali Sharma: 1 medal (2nd in essay)
  13. Eric Alfaro: 1 medal (3rd in math)

JV Medals:

  1. Gissely Rodriguez: 6 medals (1st in literature; 2nd in art; 3rd in music; 4th in speech + social science; 5th in science)
  2. Sofia Fontes: 4 medals (4th in art + music; 5th in literature + speech)
  3. Sophia Diaz: 3 medals (1st in literature; 4th in art; 5th in music)
  4. Fernanda Perez: 3 medals (3rd in speech; 4th in social science; 5th in music)
  5. Lilly Slovenec: 3 medals (2nd in literature; 4th in social science; 5th in speech)
  6. Mohammad Hassan: 3 medals (3rd in art + music; 5th in science)
  7. David Yu: 2 medals (3rd in science; 5th in music)
  8. Thomas Lemesh: 2 medals (2nd in speech; 4th in science)
  9. Keya Valand: 1 medal (1st in speech)
  10. Hayden Do:1 medal (5th in literature)
  11. Clara DeMattia: 1 medal (4th in literature)
  12. Athan Alota: 1 medal (3rd in speech)
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