Youth Briefs

May 13, 2010

Golden Knights second in U.S. Decathlon

The St. Francis High School Academic Decathlon team spent spring break studying and taking the first portion of the U.S. Decathlon test online.

Trying to improve upon last year’s third-place finish, the Golden Knights continued their success and placed second in this year’s national competition led by senior Ben Dunst, who was the top scorer in the country in the medium-sized school division. In addition, many of the students also received individual medals. Students were divided among three categories: Honors, Scholastic and Varsity.


Honors — Ben Dunst, senior, won the following: Top scorer, All Medium Sized Schools; Gold, Economics; Gold, Chemistry; Silver, Superquiz. Junior Ethan Liwanag and sophomore Roylance Bird also competed in this category.

Scholastic — Chris Ferro, junior: Gold, Essay. Seniors Matt Jones and Andrew Kang joined Ferro in this category.

Varsity — Senior John Papadopoulos was the top scorer, Varsity and won the following: Gold, Art; Silver, Economics; Gold, Language and Literature; Gold, music; and Bronze, Superquiz. Don Palmigiano, senior, was third-place scorer Varsity and won the Bronze in Art, Silver in Music and Gold in Chemistry. Senior Scott McQueen earned the Gold in Economics.

“This is the culmination of another great season for these guys. It’s a season unlike any other,” said coach Dirk Dierking. “We began studying in the fall, and worked straight through spring. It was a bit of a roller-coaster ride early, but we got the wild card bid at the regionals, were able to capitalize on it in Sacramento, and did a fantastic job representing the state of California in the national competition. The sacrifices these young men made are very humbling. I could not be more proud of them.”

Elementary music students showcased

Students in grades four, five and six at La Cañada, Paradise Canyon and Palm Crest elementary schools who are enrolled in the Assistance League of Flintridge Fine Arts Academy Instrumental Music program have been preparing for their spring concerts.

The string musicians displayed their talents in the Beginning Strings and String Orchestra performance Wednesday at Lanterman Auditorium, with music teacher Katherine Spry providing piano accompaniment. The woodwinds, brass and percussion musicians will demonstrate their skills in the Beginning Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion and Concert Band performance at 7 tonight, also at Lanterman Auditorium. Their performance will be under the direction of teacher John Tegmeyer. Parents, friends and the La Cañada community are invited to the free concert.

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