Fairmont Junior High Students Win National Championship at the 2016 USAD National Academic Pentathlon

7th and 8th grade teams from the Fairmont Private Schools – Historic Anaheim Campus swept the team awards at the 2016 USAD National Academic Pentathlon on May 21, 2016 at Boise State University, finishing in the top two spots overall, with the 8th grade team winning the 2016 National Championship. Both teams won 1st Place overall and 1st Place in the Super Quiz for their respective grade levels.

Individually, Fairmont students won 11 of a possible 18 total individual overall medals, including 5 of 6 gold (1st place). 7th Grader Jian Park finished with the highest individual score out of all competitors.  Within the subject categories, Fairmont’s 8th grade team won 22 medals (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) out of a possible 45, including 12 gold out of a possible 15.  The 7th grade team won 30 medals in the subject categories, with 11 gold.

The testing and Super Quiz portions of the competition took place on Friday, May 20, with 22 teams competing from across the United States.  Awards were presented at a banquet on the morning of Saturday, May 21.

Only two teams are invited to the national competition from each state.  This year, both of California’s teams were from Fairmont. Fairmont’s 7th and 8th grade teams got the nod after winning 1st place in the overall team and Super Quiz competitions in both grade levels at the Orange County Academic Pentathlon held on March 19.

Historic Anaheim students Gaby Tan, Julia Tao, Numair Razzak, Nikki Ngo, Milan Robinson, Alexisse Yoo, Daniel Giraldo, Maddie Cameron, and Darin Kishore comprise the 8th grade team, and Dale Tran, Duke Pham Chang, Jian Park, Ryan Kim, Ryan Yi, William Wu, Ryan Tao, Kenneth Yang, and Raniyah Chishti make up the 7th grade team.  The teams are coached by Fairmont Historic Anaheim Assistant Director Rebecca Lugo and teachers John Briner, Beverly Debreczeni, Michelle Paraiso, Alena Hallack, and Donna Riley.

2016 is the first year Fairmont has competed in the National Academic Pentathlon, following a long tradition of victory at the Orange County competition. 2016 was the 24th straight year in which a Fairmont Private Schools’ 7th or 8th grade team has won 1st place at the OC Academic Pentathlon. In 15 of those years, both Fairmont 7th and 8th grade teams have won 1st place overall.

The Pentathlon’s five areas of concentration are language and literature, fine arts, science, mathematics, and social science. Teams at Fairmont prepare for the competition over three months, receiving coaching during their elective class period.  Academic Pentathlon teams are comprised of students in three different grade point average categories (Honor 3.75 – 4.00, Scholastic 3.00 – 3.74, and Varsity 0.00 – 2.99), so all students have an opportunity to compete. Team awards are given for Overall and Super Quiz, while students can earn individual medals in each category, including top overall student.

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”