Searching for Gold at the California Academic Decathlon

The faces of the players fell into tense focus as the clock's seconds ticked away. The audience gripped the edges of the bleachers. Then, without warning, the timer hit zero and the quiz proctors score cards went up. The crowd exploded with cheers as the competitors reacted with a mix of high-fives and tightened grins.


This was the scene at the Riverside County Academic Decathlon’s final round––the Super Quiz™ on January 27, 2024 where the Beaumont High School team, led by Coach Rathfelder, finished second place overall. As a result, they will be competing at the California Academic Decathlon State Competition in Santa Clara on March 22 and 23 for the first time. They will join the top 50 schools across California with an estimated 450 high school students.



“I'm really excited to go and compete with schools from all over California”



“The Academic Decathlon really is a very challenging and demanding competition. Studying for all ten events is like a juggling act,” explains Joseph Booth, a Junior Beaumont High School competitor. “In order to do well, you have to balance between studying 7 objective tests, preparing to write an essay, preparing to give an interview, and memorizing a speech.” Despite the challenge, he knows how to juggle. He took home 12 medals, including gold in the math category. His eyes and mind are laser focused on what lays ahead. “I’m really excited to go and compete with schools from all over California, and hopefully recreate some of the success I had at county.”


If you would like to cheer on our Beaumont High School team, while helping to support this amazing competition of the minds, volunteers for proctors, judges, monitors and more are needed. Orientation is provided. Call 707-330-3276 or email [email protected] to sign up.



By Thomas R Guzowski