Weathering late-night study sessions, team practices and hours of reading, Stanislaus County high school students are pulling out all the stops to prepare for this year's county Academic Decathlon.
The decathlon is a two-day series of tests, speeches and interviews featuring this year's theme, "The Civil War."
The public is invited to attend the Super Quiz and Awards Presentation Feb. 2 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Enochs High School Gymnasium, 3201 Sylvan Ave., Modesto. There is no charge for admission.
Co-sponsored by the county Office of Education; the Gallo Foundation; and Carl Brown, dean of the California State University, Stanislaus, College of Education, the decathlon promotes interschool competition in academics and is supported through contributions made by businesses and the community.
Schools send nine members as the core team, three students in each of three categories, based on grade-point averages. Schools may send as many alternate participants as they choose.
Sixteen area high schools will participate in this year's event. They are: Beyer, Central Catholic, Central Valley, Ceres, Davis, Denair, Downey, Enochs, Hughson, Johansen, Keyes Charter, Modesto, Oakdale, Orestimba, Patterson and Waterford.
Oakdale High School has been the overall winner for the past seven years. This year's winner will represent the county at the California Academic Decathlon State Finals on March 7-10 in Sacramento.