Dunbar team competes in U.S. Academic Decathlon

Author: Lisa Deffendall • First Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    Eight seniors from Paul Laurence Dunbar represented the state of Kentucky in the national U.S. Academic Decathlon, held April 30 through May 3 in Garden Grove, Calif.
    Nathanael Green received the $1,000 Founder’s Scholarship, awarded to the student who made the most significant gains in scores between the state and national competitions. Classmate Nan Hu won a $500 scholarship for the highest test scores of any Kentucky student.
    Scientific American recognized and rewarded Jordan Bryan, Cynthia Lu, Papa Chakravarthy and Nan Hu for high scores in mathematics.
    Dunbar’s other competitors were Gauri Iyengar, Matthew White and Natalia Truszczynski.
    “The event was amazing and extremely well-organized and orchestrated,” said Susan Magedanz, who coached the Dunbar team. “It was an absolutely fabulous experience for the students, (who) were thrown in with nearly 500 of the brightest young men and women in our country.”
    “The California team won, and they truly deserved it. They were not only brilliant but also exhibited a level of poise and class that would rival top CEO’s in any situation,” Magedanz said.
    Decathlon events cover art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, math, music, science, social science and speech. This year’s theme was the Civil War; next year it’s Latin America. In many parts of the country, the U.S. Academic Decathlon is considered the premier academic competition. For more details, see www.usad.org.
    Dunbar had won the state championship after a two-day competition in February.


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