SHS Academic Team wins fifth consecutive state championship

SHS Academic Team wins fifth consecutive state championship

Scottsburg High School was one of three schools in the state to place in three or more subjects areas at the 30th Annual Indiana Academic Super Bowl Area Competition, and for the fifth year in a row, the SHS Academic Team earned a state championship.

“I’m very proud of this year’s team. This is the best overall finish that the Scottsburg High School Academic Team has ever had. It didn’t just start this year — many of these students have been putting in a tremendous effort for multiple years and the results speak for themselves,” said Robert Deirth, science and interdisciplinary academic team coach, teacher, and science department chair.

At this year’s state finals, the Academic Team won the state championship in the interdisciplinary subject area — a category that combines questions from all disciplines. The Academic Team was also the state runner-up in social studies, and the Academic Team placed third in science and had the highest science score of any school in southern Indiana. Both the social studies and science teams have had previous successes at the state finals with two consecutive state championships for the social studies team and one state championship for the science team.

“The thing I will miss most is the feeling you get after winning the championship. It lets you know that all the hard work you have put in over the year has paid off. And afterward, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as those last few hours before competing are very nerve wracking,” said Evan Howser, senior, a member of the social studies and interdisciplinary teams, and captain of the English team.

“The interdisciplinary win has sentimental value. Wrapping up my high school career with such a hard-fought, and for lack of a better word — epic — win was satisfying. The fact that we scored [five out of five] on the social studies questions showed that our hard work in that category paid off,” said Kaleb Mount, senior, captain of the Social Studies, and a member of the interdisciplinary and English teams.

Along with the school history-making win at the state finals on May 7 at Purdue University, SHS was recognized by the Indiana Association of School Principals as one of the Top 10 teams. The elite distinction was based on the cumulative scores of all six rounds at the Area Competition. The scores earned at Area Competition determine what subject areas teams move forward to the state finals.

“The best thing about being on the team is the opportunity to compete against other teams from across the state and show off everything we have studied and learned over the year. The most challenging thing is making sure that all the members of the team are on the same page. Sometimes, two members having a different interpretation of a single word can lead them to disagree on an answer,” Howser said.

To prepare for the competitions, the student members of the Academic Team spend hours preparing during the spring. The members work together at after school meetings and at home, reviewing questions and reading resources.

“It takes a lot of hard work to be successful on an academic team. You have to be willing to put in hours of studying for several months if you want to compete for a championship,” Howser said. “I think that academic team has taught me how to properly study and understand complex material.”

“I’ve always been smart. Every person on an academic team is smart. But I never really had any sort of work ethic until I joined the academic team. These competitions aren’t about which team has the smartest people; they’re determined by which team works the hardest. I’ve taken lots of classes where I could just coast and get an A. Academic team isn’t like that,” said Jacob Cook, senior, captain of the science team, and a member of the interdisciplinary team.

At Scott County School District 2, the Academic Team’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.