Phoenix, AZ – July 28, 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.

Each year’s Academic Decathlon events bring with them a new theme and a quest for academic glory. The theme for the 2008/2009 season is Latin America, with particular emphasis on Mexico.

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.

Arizona Academic Decathlon Executive Director, Anne Edelstein, commented, “Here in Arizona we have the third largest Academic Decathlon program in the US. Our students, schools, teachers and coaches are motivated and have a winning spirit and a history of high performance.”

In order to support this season’s Decathlon, several companies have stepped up to the plate as the top five sponsors. These firms include marketing and advertising firm Zion & Zion, utility provider SRP, health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, chip maker Intel and US Airways, which will be providing travel to nationals for the Arizona team.

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