Nebraska teams at Nationals

Nebraska Academic Decathlon has three schools that will be attending the in-person Nationals competition for Academic Decathlon April 25–27 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Our State Champion team, Pius X of Lincoln, coached by Ann Kotopka and Mike Katalenich, will be representing Nebraska. The Small School Champion, Mount Michael (Coach Dave Cormier), will also compete in person in Division IV, and Daniel Gross High School (Coach Tracey Brousek), our Medium School Champion, will be going to Pittsburgh as well.

Nebraska’s State Finals were generously hosted by the University of Nebraska Omaha on February 16 and 17. The winners in the Large Schools division were Pius X, Creighton Prep, and Daniel Gross High School. The Small Schools winners were Mount Michael Benedictine, Brownell Talbot, and Lourdes Central Catholic. Brownell Talbot is also the Very Small School Champion.

Students and their coaches prepare all year for competition in seven objective testing areas (Art, Literature, Music, Economics, Science, Social Science, Math), and three skills topics (Essay, Interview, Speech). The topic for 2023-24 is “Technology and Humanity”. The new topic for 2024-25 is “Our Changing Climate”.

Katalenich said most of Pius X’s team is returning from last year, and the youngest will be a great leader next year. What the students have learned about technology “will help them navigate our ever-changing world.”

Nebraska Academic Decathlon has hosted competitions for 40 years. We have about 40 schools that participate, and on average Nebraska Academic Decathlon has awarded $40,000 for each of the past many years in scholarships to high school competitors based on their teams’ performance at Regionals in January and State Finals in February. The Optimists Clubs of Nebraska are our major sponsors, and we thank them for decades of volunteering and financial support.

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