I am sending this email in response to Dr. Reveles’ July 20th letter regarding postponing Academic Decathlon. I am concerned that postponing this valuable program may easily lead to withering or cancelling of this valuable program since the attraction for future year’s participants is driven by the school pride, excellence and respect given to the current year’s participants.
I would like to refute the safety concern for students; as mentioned in the letter, the program is entirely online, therefore, there is no risk of contracting COVID if the program is kept.
Furthermore, this year’s county champions were able to participate and compete in state competition entirely online. Additionally, it is without reason to say that postponing this program will somehow increase participation. This program relies on returning team members keeping the team alive by spearheading the recruitment process.
I am a local employer for over 50 years, including quite a few local high school students. Many of them participated in this program in past years and I personally saw how positive an impact it had on their High School lives and how it helped prepare them to excel in college after High School. It gave them a team identity, discipline, community pride and motivation to rise to a higher level of academic excellence. For some of these students, they did not fit into any other athletic team to have a similar High School experience.
Moreover, the Marysville High School coach has denied that the alluded to call was a consultation, rather a warning was given minutes before the YCOE shared their official announcement. Additionally, there are two other coaches and teams in the county, neither of whom were contacted. Furthermore, most of the “burden” of the challenges created by an online competition is on the students and coaches whom YCOE ignored in this decision. Alumni of the program have cited the YCOE as neglectful of this invaluable program.
I firmly believe that if you, as you claim, truly support this program, you will listen to the students and coaches who want to participate and keep it alive. Please for the sake of our students and their future, don’t postpone the program. If the reason for postponing is an economic choice, please consider opening up an opportunity for the local YS business and parent community to step up to support the cost of it. I know I would be willing to be a sponsor. Thank you for your time.
Lincoln Young, CEO
Collins Lake Management Corp