The 2016-2017 academic year is my second year as Executive Director, having succeeded Jerry Helgeson who founded the organization over 30 years ago. I am honored to have been mentored by Jerry and that I get to continue his legacy. As a fifteen year coach of the Sandpoint High Academic Decathlon team, last year was a big transition for me, but I really enjoyed working with the decathlon coaches and teams throughout the state last year.
One of my main goals is to get more schools involved in our organization. Many school boards and administrators do not realize that the United States Academic Decathlon curriculum addresses many of the high school Mathematics and Reading Common Core Standards, as well as the National Content Standards for Economics, English Language Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Science and Social Studies. If schools are looking for interesting and innovative ways to teach the Standards, Academic Decathlon is the ticket.
I am happy to announce that Boise State University will be the host site of our state competition in March 2017. This will be a great opportunity for our decathletes to experience a competition in the southeastern part of our state and to get a taste of what the Boise State University has to offer.
It is hard to believe that we now are entering a fourth decade of providing this program to high schools in Idaho. With the generous financial support of many individuals, businesses, foundations, and corporations, we have been very fortunate. The IAD looks forward to a long tenure with many of our current supporters and continues to encourage new businesses and individuals to get involved.
Besides the financial support we receive, we also must acknowledge and thank the approximately 200 volunteers that help in our program. Most of these individuals are judges for the Speech and Interview events in our competitions. We also thank those businesses or corporations that provide wonderful in-kind support.
Best of luck to all Idaho Academic Decathlon teams! I wish you much success during the school year and the competition season.
Mary Bird | Executive Director