Dallas ISD students among top in the state in academic competition


Submitted by Julian Spearman, Student Activities Department coordinator

The sympathetic nervous system activates which gland for the stress response?

If you answered adrenal gland, you may have tested well in the Texas Academic Pentathlon Regional Super Quiz –  alongside 25 competing Dallas ISD middle school teams. 

Super Quiz was one component in the regional competition, which tested students’ knowledge of literature, math, science, social studies, and fine arts. 

Recently, 279 Dallas ISD students competed in the Region V Academic Pentathlon Meet hosted at Thomas Jefferson High School by Student Activities. 

The national theme for Academic Pentathlon changes each year. This year’s theme was Technology and Humanity.

Academic Pentathlon is the middle school version of the high school Academic Decathlon and elementary Lone Star Challenge. Nine students make up each team and are categorized based on their grade point averages. Dallas ISD represented Region V, one of seven regions competing across the state. Over 150 teams competed across all regions, and Dallas ISD had six teams place in the top 20. 

School for the Talented and Gifted in Pleasant Grove placed first in the regional competition at both the seventh and eighth grade levels. For their statewide ranking, STAG placed tenth in the seventh grade division and fifteenth in the eighth-grade division.

Another top performing school, Irma Lerma Rangel Women’s Leadership School, placed in the top three in every category at the regional meet.

The school’s pentathlon coach, Diana O’Connor, contributed their success to their culture of creating a healthy team environment that increases both retention and performance.

“We try to be understanding and supportive of our team members with positive feedback, and make sure they are also having fun,” she said. “We set expectations for participation and often follow up with students who don’t check in with us about their practice tests and attending meetings about competitions.” 

Dallas ISD Region V & State Pentathlon Highlights:

  • Seventh Grade:
    • STAG Pleasant Grove seventh grade: First Place; State Ranking: 10th
    • Irma Lerma Rangel seventh grade: Second Place; State Ranking: 12th
    • Solar Preparatory for Girls at James B. Bonham seventh grade: Third Place; State Ranking: 16th
  • Eighth Grade:
    • STAG Pleasant Grove eighth grade: First Place; State Ranking: 10th Place
    • Irma Lerma Rangel eighth grade: Second Place; State Ranking: 12th Place
    • William B. Travis Academy/Vanguard for the Academically Talented and Gifted eighth grade: Third Place; State Ranking: 16th Place

Dallas ISD Texas Academic Pentathlon Region Super Quiz Results

  • Seventh Grade:
    • First Place: Irma Lerma Rangel 
    • Second Place: Solar Prep and  STAG Pleasant Grove both tied for second place
    • Third Place: Rosemont Upper School and L.V. Stockard Middle School both tied for third place
  • Eighth Grade:
    • First Place: Travis TAG
    • Second Place: Irma Lerma Rangel and Rosemont both tied for second place
    • Dallas Hybrid Preparatory at Stephen J. Hay and J.L. Long Middle School both tied for third place

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