Phoenix, AZ – December 12, 2008 – Since 1984, Arizona has fielded a US Academic Decathlon team. The US Academic Decathlon has been around since 1968, when it was started in Orange County, California by Dr. Robert Peterson. While Arizona has never taken first place at the national event, the Arizona team has placed in the top five for 19 straight years.

With almost 120 schools, approximately 180 teachers and coaches and over 1800 students participating, the 2008/2009 Arizona Academic Decathlon promises to be one of the most competitive yet, and with the beginning of this Academic Decathlon season bringing new challenges in the areas of fundraising and public relations, the organization has appointed leading mid-sized marketing agency COO, DuGué Zion, to its board of directors.

Arizona Academic Decathlon Executive Director, Anne Edelstein, stated, “We have execs from organizations such as SRP and Blue Cross Blue Shield on our board, and all of our board members bring with them qualifications and skills. However, we are in significant need of marketing and public relations expertise.”

Edelstein added, “Having the third largest Academic Decathlon program in the US here in Arizona, we have a winning spirit, and are motivated to do everything we can to keep our momentum. That prompted us to ask Zion & Zion, already an ardent supporter of our organization, if they would be willing to have one of their execs join our board.”

Zion & Zion COO, DuGué Zion, commented, “Of course we accepted the challenge. If we’re not going to invest our time in our kids’ educations and futures, then what are we going to invest it in? I look forward to working closely with the Decathlon this coming year and increasing visibility of the program throughout our great state.”

For more information on Zion & Zion, please visit the company’s website at For more information on Arizona Academic Decathlon, please visit the organization’s website at

About Arizona Academic Decathlon:
The Arizona Academic Decathlon’s mission is to promote, motivate and acknowledge excellence in academic efforts and educational achievement through a program of academic competitions for high school students of all scholastic achievement levels.
The organization’s goals are to encourage students to excel in academic pursuits by promoting enthusiasm for learning, developing a spirit of competition, working as a member of a team, participating in peer tutoring, undertaking interdisciplinary study, emphasizing preparation and research, acquiring an understanding of the fine arts and increasing communication skills.

The Arizona Academic Decathlon also strives to improve the total educational program in Arizona by promoting the importance of excellence in broad academic performance, motivating students to reach their fullest potential and establishing a positive image of students in Arizona communities.

The organization also encourages community and business involvement and support of academic excellence through contribution of funds, time, talent and or materials.

Arizona Academic Decathlon Contact:

Andrew Morrill, 602-264-1774
Arizona Academic Decathlon