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HPHS AcDec team competes at nationals

AcDec Team 2021 HPHS
The Highland Park High School Academic Decathlon team took second place in Division I and first place overall in Super Quiz at the United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) 2021 National Competition. 
After winning the Texas State Championship in February, the team competed in the USAD competition throughout the month of April - the essay contest on April 8, the interview competition on April 28 and the speech events on April 29. The subject tests in Art, Literature, Social Sciences, Science, Math and Economics, as well as the Super Quiz, were held April 30. The results and awards were announced May 1 through a livestream broadcast.
"What an incredibly impressive level of academic performance by our AcDec team," Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. "Achieving at this level takes enormous commitment and dedication throughout the year, and our entire community should take pride in what these students have accomplished."
The HPHS team of Daniel Carrillo, Ryan Carmack, Kai Tsuei, Matthew Winters, Pike Dzurny, Karina Zaydler, Mackenna Bierschenk, Jasper Chen and Jack Jiang won first place in the Division 1 Super Quiz competition and finished second place overall in Division 1, just behind seven-time national champion Granada Hills Charter School from Los Angeles.
During the awards ceremony, all nine HPHS team members were recognized for their impressive individual achievements. Mackenna Bierschenk was voted the MVP of the HPHS AcDec team and Ryan Carmack was recognized for the overall highest score for the HPHS team. 
Medals for the Division 1 overall high scores included:
  • Mackenna Bierschenk winning third place overall in Varsity Division
  • Matthew Winters earning third place overall in Scholastic Division
  • Ryan Carmack winning second place overall in Varsity Division
Daniel Carrillo, Kai Tsuei, Pike Dzurny, Karina Zaydler, Jasper Chen and Jack Jiang all finished in the top three places in several different subject areas. This is the largest group of HP students to place in the top three at nationals. Overall, the team earned a total of 38 individual medals for their efforts.
HPHS AcDec students spent countless hours preparing to compete against top teams from across the country. “I’ve been amazed by their commitment and their dedication,” AcDec Coach Dr. Barry Preston said. “I’ve been impressed by the sheer number of hours they have dedicated to learning the subject matter and preparing for the competitions. But, I have been even more impressed with how they have worked as a team and by their willingness to help support one another before, during, and after the competitions. They are truly an exceptional group of young people." 
The complete list of HPHS individual medalists for the USAD National Competition includes: 
Ryan Carmack - Honors Division:
  • Gold medals in Music, Literature, and Social Science
  • Silver medals in Art, Math, Economics, Science and for Overall Honors Division Score
Daniel Carrillo - Honors Division:
  • Gold medals in Art, Music and Economics
  • Silver medal in Social Science
Kai Tsuei - Honors Division:
  • Gold medal in Music
  • Silver medal in Art
  • Bronze medal in Science
Matthew Winters - Scholastic Division:
  • Gold medal in Art
  • Silver medal in Music
  • Bronze medals in Math, Economics and for Overall Scholastic Division Score
Karina Zaydler - Scholastic Division:
  • Gold medal in Essay
  • Silver medals in Music and Speech
  • Bronze medal in Art
Pike Dzurny - Scholastic Division:
  • Silver medals in Art and Social Science
Mackenna Bierschenk - Varsity Division:
  • Gold medals in Art and Economics
  • Silver medal in Social Science
  • Bronze medals in Music, Literature, Science, Speech and for Overall Varsity Division Score
Jasper Chen - Varsity Division:
  • Gold medal in Math
  • Silver medal in Economics
  • Bronze medal in Art
Jack Jiang - Varsity Division:
  • Silver medal in Math
  • Bronze medals in Art, Economics and Social Science
The Highland Park High School Academic Decathlon team is coached by Dr. Barry Preston and David Alvarado.
Click here for more information about the USAD National competition.