During an evening awards ceremony in the ballroom of the CSUS Student Union, 130 decathletes from 11 area schools were recognized for their hard work and achievements. Two Folsom schools were atop those award, with Folsom High School taking home the victory and Vista del Lago High School claiming third place in the 2024 competition.
All of the teams competed in categories including mathematics, science, literature, art, and more, culminating with the presentation of the coveted team trophy. Special accolades were also given for outstanding individual performances in each subject area.
“We are immensely proud of both schools for their wins this year and past years’ successes, which is a testament to the time, dedication and teamwork of the students and leadership of their teachers,” said Angela Griffin Ankhelyi, Chief Communications & Community Engagement Officer for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.
The banquet honored these young scholars’ achievements and inspired a passion for learning and excellence. With a ballroom filled with cheering families, coaches, school leaders, and community partners, the room burst into applause when Folsom High School was announced as the winner of the 2024 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon. The Folsom team will now advance to the California Academic Decathlon, being held in Santa Clara next month.
The top honors didn’t end with Folsom Monday as Bella Vista High School brought the San Unified School District to the podium. The Folsom Cordova Unified School District completed the top three as Vista del Lago High School place third ahead of Christian Brothers High School representing the Diocese of Sacramento and Sheldon High School, representing the Elk Grove Unified School District, placed fifth
“As we shine the spotlight on the students here tonight, let’s remember that today’s decathletes are tomorrow’s community leaders, thinkers, teachers, artists, engineers, and much more,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon in his welcome message at the award ceremony.
Eleven teams from Sacramento County competed. Four teams from Placer County joined the competition but were scored separately. To prepare for the academic competition, students devoted months of study to this year’s theme: “Technology and Humanity.”
In addition to the team awards Monday, individual students were also recognized for their efforts. On team Folsom, coached by Melinda Wilson and Ryan Peterson, the top scoring team member was Angela “Ang” Merrill. Merrill also earned the team leadership award. On team Vista del Lago, Varhsa Bondu earned both the high scoring and the team leadership award. Vista’s team was coached by Jessica Mann.
During the awards ceremony, SAFE Credit Union Board Chairman Terry Tremelling and Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca Delmundo awarded college scholarships to the top-scoring students. A long-time Academic Decathlon sponsor, SAFE generously donated $7,500 in scholarships for top-scoring students. Media relations expert Kevin Riggs, a respected former KCRA journalist and political analyst, was the emcee for the evening.
2024 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon top scoring teams:
1st Place: Folsom High School (Folsom Cordova USD)
2nd Place: Bella Vista High School (San Juan USD)
3rd Place: Vista del Lago High School (Folsom Cordova USD)
4th Place: Christian Brothers High School (Diocese of Sacramento)
5th Place: Sheldon High School (Elk Grove USD)