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Bella Vista H.S. Wins 2017 County Academic Decathlon

Medal Ceremony Recognizes Winners of 37th Annual Competition

Students holding large trophy

Students from the winning Bella Vista High School team hold up the perpetual trophy.

Bella Vista High School, from the San Juan Unified School District, is the winner of the 2017 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon competition. The win marks the 25th time the team has taken first place at the annual competition since it began in 1979. Bella Vista’s first win was during the 1987–88 school year.

Folsom High School (Folsom Cordova U.S.D.) finished second in this year's county competition and Pleasant Grove High School (Elk Grove U.S.D.) placed third. The Bella Vista team will now advance to the California Academic Decathlon state finals, March 23–26 in Sacramento. The high scores earned by the Folsom and Pleasant Grove teams will also allow them to compete at the state competition. The winner of the state competition moves on to the U.S. Academic Decathlon, planned for this April in Madison, WI.

Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon announced individual and team winners of the 37th Annual Sacramento County Academic Decathlon, held February 4 at Inderkum High School. The top scorers were honored February 9 at an awards banquet presented by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) at the CSU Sacramento University Union Ballroom. Kevin Riggs, Senior Vice President for Randall Communications, served as banquet emcee.

SAFE Credit Union provided $10,000 in scholarships to be distributed among top-scoring students. SAFE Chief Executive Officer David Roughton and Chairman Ron Seaman were on hand to personally congratulate the participants.

Hundreds of Sacramento County high school students, along with students from Placer County, competed. A total of 25 teams, including three from Placer County, participated. The Placer County teams competed amongst themselves and were scored separately.

To prepare for the Academic Decathlon, students devoted months of study to this year's theme: “World War II.” Students competed for awards in 10 demanding categories: economics, art, science, social science, language/literature, mathematics, music, essay, interview, and speech. The competition culminated in the public Super Quiz, where questions were posed by Fox 40 morning news host Paul Robins in front of hundreds of cheering fans.

Each high school Academic Decathlon team is comprised of nine students—three with “A” grade averages, three with “B” averages and three with “C” averages—who compete against those with the same grade average. Coaches are local high school teachers. Academic “Decathletes” not only grow in academic achievement; they learn about teamwork, goal-setting, planning, and leadership.

Photos and Multimedia

Rankings and Results

Top-Scoring Teams

  • 1st Place: Bella Vista High School (San Juan Unified)
  • 2nd Place: Folsom High School (Folsom Cordova Unified)
  • 3rd Place: Pleasant Grove High School (Elk Grove Unified)
  • 4th Place: Del Campo High School (San Juan Unified)
  • 5th Place: Sheldon High School (Elk Grove Unified)

Schools Placing Highest in the Super Quiz

  • 1st Place (tie): Bella Vista High School (San Juan Unified)
  • 1st Place (tie): Folsom High School (Folsom Cordova Unified)
  • 2nd Place: Del Campo High School (San Juan Unified)
  • 3rd Place: Elk Grove High School (Elk Grove Unified)

"Most Improved"

  • Franklin High School (Elk Grove Unified)—based on overall improvement

Team Results


The County Academic Decathlon is coordinated by SCOE staff and community volunteers. For additional information, e-mail or phone Craig Irish: (916) 228-2660.​


Anna Lucia Burns and Craig Irish holding framed poster and certificate

Coordinator Craig Irish presents Art Competition win​ner Anna Lucia Burns (St. Francis High School) with a framed copy of the 2017 Decathlon poster featuring her artwork. Certificates were also provided to eight additional students for their entries.

Encore Presentation

The Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) will re-broadcast the Academic Decathlon Super Quiz on Comcast Channel 16 and Consolidated Communications Channel 22:

  • Tuesday, February 14 at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 16 at noon
  • Saturday, February 18 at 7 a.m.
Sponsored by [Safe Credit Union]