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Denair students prepare for Super Bowl of academics
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Months of preparation will soon be put to the test as students from Denair High School  compete in the 2013 Stanislaus County Academic Decathlon.

 Hailed as the biggest academic event for local high schools, the decathlon is slated to take place on Feb. 2 in the Gregori High School gymnasium in Modesto.  The decathlon is a two-day series of tests, speeches and interviews highlighting this year’s theme, Russia.

The Academic Decathlon’s goal is to stimulate intellectual growth and scholastic success, said Student Events Coordinator Barbara Little.

“The competition is open to all students, not just the top-achievers,” she said.  “Our objective is to recognize student achievement and to emphasize the positive dimensions of education.”

After months of intense studying, practice tests and speech reviews, Denair students are hopeful for a victory.

“I have 17 of the brightest students participating this year,” said DHS instructional coach Paul Michaelis.  “We have a mixture of veteran students who are returning to participate and know what is expected during competition.”

Last year, DHS placed in 3rd in Stanislaus County and the team hopes they have the same success this year.

“Our goal is to place higher,” said Michaelis.  “Our biggest competitor has always been Oakdale.  They are phenomenal as they place first every year.  This year we are more focused and have high hopes that our group will beat out the competition."

This year’s winner will represent Stanislaus County at the California Academic Decathlon State Finals on March 14-17 in Sacramento.