Medina Journal-Register — LYNDONVILLE — The level of rigor that a group of Lyndonville high school students is facing through the Academic Decathlon is extraordinary to witness, even if most of it is hidden from sight.
Saturday, as a scrimmage against competitors from Victor wound down, the final challenge was the Super Quiz — a Jeopardy!-style test where difficult questions must be answered in a brief period.
The questions flashed on a projector before two groupings of desks, limited in scope to a theme of Russia. Limited in the sense that it covered seemingly anything related to Russia, from space race-era rocketry terms, economic systems, history and culture. Literally, things as dense as a Russian novel — Dr. Zhivago in this case.
Through it all, students frequently held aloft bright orange pennants, proclaiming that they had answered the multi-choice questions correctly as cheers rained down from a supportive crowd. It was the only public part in a day of oral presentations, written tests and challenges in other academic disciplines.
Lyndonville students did well against Victor, taking 56 out of a possible 90 medals, winning the Super Quiz 2666 to 1583 and the overall competition 35,744 to 32,471.
Lyndonville is one of the last local schools to still offer the program as an extra-curricular activity, and one of the highest achieving programs in its weight class. Awaiting this group of sophomores, juniors and seniors is a statewide competition in March at Syracuse, where Lyndonville has won the small school division four of the past seven years.
The record of success is due to students being committed in their studying of a difficult set of topics, co-coach Paula Reimann said as students practiced on Friday.
”A lot of it is dedication and hard work because it’s such a broad range,” Reimann said, “and a curiosity to learn new things.”