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LHS Academic Decathlon claims third at state

Liberty High School’s Academic Decathlon team competed in state competition in Frisco this past weekend, placing third overall at the statewide meet. For some background, after years of absence, Liberty High School's Academic Decathlon Team resumed competition last year and advanced to both the state finals as well as a national online competition. In their first year back in competition, the students earned two medals at the state meet. This year, the Panther team brought home 15 individual medals. The academic decathlon competition – as the name implies - includes ten events. Those are essay, interview, speech, social science, art, music, science, math, language/literature plus economics. This year’s theme was the decade of the 1960s. Competitors are divided into three categories based on their academic performance in the classroom – honors, scholastic and varsity.  Starting with the social science competition, Gavin Deshotel earned a bronze medal in the scholastic division. Then in the Language and Literature category, Keaton Parker claimed a silver medal in honors while Gavin Deshotel secured a silver in the scholastic division. Moving on to the science competition, TaNia Donatto was awarded a bronze medal in honors. Now for economics - Keaton Parker and Alexandria Smith tied for a gold medal while TaNia Donatto earned bronze in the honors division. Liberty’s Chasitie Evans earned a bronze in the scholastic category. As for the state academic decathlon mathematics competition, TaNia Donatto brought home silver in honors. Then in the essay portion of the meet, Alex Smith earned a silver in the honors division and Chasitie Evans got bronze medal in the scholastic group. As for the interview competition, TaNia Donatto medaled again, securing gold in honors with a perfect score. Liberty’s Chasitie Evans brought home a gold medal in the scholastic division, also with a perfect score. In the speech competition, TaNia Donatto earned silver medal in honors, Alexandria Smith got the bronze in honors, and Chasitie Evans earned silver medal in the scholastic group. With the third place overall team finish, each of the nine Liberty High School students was awarded a $500 scholarship. Texas Academic Decathlon also recognizes the top five scoring students based on their overall cumulative scores in all 10 events. Chasitie Evans scored fourth overall in the honors division, earning her an additional $1,000 scholarship. Gavin Deshotel was fifth overall in the scholastic division and receives an additional $750 scholarship. Once again, the Liberty High School Athletic Decathlon team placed third at the state competition over the weekend. In all, the Panther students combined to earn 36 individual and team medals. Of note, Liberty’s team was the top Texas team in the “under 600 student high school enrollment” category. That qualifies the Panthers team to compete in the national online competition in April. Decathlon coaches are Randy Gunter and Zachary Taylor.  The parent sponsor as well as science and speech assistant is Brandon Smith. Mr. Gunter also offered a special thanks to Michelle Dennis who assisted with speech preparation.        

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