The Yellowjackets team outscored 12 other schools to claim scholastic supremacy in Ventura County at the recent 10-event competition that is designed to include students from all academic backgrounds.
Oxnard High was declared the winner during an awards ceremony held Feb. 8 at Pacifica High School’s Robert Q. Valles Center for Performing Arts. The Yellowjackets earned a total of 41,216 points, with Westlake High finishing second with 38,990 points and Thousand Oaks High placing third with 37,783.
Members of the state-bound team are: Danielle Bonucchi, Matt Gintjee, Diane Kreil, Brandon Nguyen, Sarah Watte, Jennifer Oakley, Caitlyn Gintjee, Karen Watson, and Natalia Luna.
The Yellowjackets are coached by social science teacher Chris Conte, who has either headed or assisted Oxnard High’s Academic Decathlon team since 1999. He is assisted by Aminah Hassoun, a member of Oxnard High’s 2008 Academic Decathlon team that reached the state competition. She is now attending California Lutheran University, and she also serves as a tutor in Oxnard High’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.
Oxnard High also had two other teams compete in the Academic Decathlon that placed fifth and ninth. Other Oxnard Union High School District schools that participated in the 25th annual event were Camarillo, Channel Islands, Pacifica and Rio Mesa.
Next up for the champions is the California Academic Decathlon on March 12-15 in Sacramento. The Yellowjackets have gone to the state competition twice before, but this their first trip to Sacramento as Ventura County champions. The state champion advances to the United States Academic Decathlon on April 21-24 in Omaha, Neb.