The Nativity School places fourth overall in Academic Decathlon

The Nativity School’s 2013 Academic Decathlon team members.

The Nativity School placed fourth overall in the San Diego Diocesan Academic Decathlon, a rigorous competition for middle school students (grades 6-8).

Eighteen schools competed in this event at Mater Dei Catholic High School on March 2. This is Nativity’s ninth year competing in this event, which the

San Diego Diocese has sponsored for 17 years. More than 180 students

competed in this event.

The Nativity School’s 2013 Academic Decathlon team members are:

Nicole Baglio, Jeffrey Brandon, Megan Callihan, Erin Crawford, Gracie Downey, Eduardo Garza, Emma Gronstad, Megan Gronstad, Chris Gustini, Maddy Gustini, Haley Kerr, Kaylee Kinninger, William Legg, Kate Stevenson, Emily Stutts, Natalie Teglia, Brennan Wilhite and Peyton Wilhite.

All schools competed in three areas: Individual Topics, the Logic Test, and the Super Quiz. The Nativity School won fourth place overall in the competition,

and took second place in the Super Quiz competition.

Individual medals were awarded to the following students:

First place/Social Studies:

Nicole Baglio of Carmel Valley

Second place/Current Events:

Chris Gustini of Santaluz

Fifth place/Math:

Brennan Wilhite of Rancho Santa Fe

Fifth place/Religion:

Kaylee Kinninger of Rancho Santa Fe

Students are recommended by their teachers to the school’s Lead Academic Decathlon Coach, Sarah Hardison, and to school Principal Margaret Heveron. Recommendations are based on their academic strength, work ethic, consistently high achievement with regular schoolwork in all classes, team work, and strong organizational and communication skills.

Heveron stated, “We are very proud of our decathlon team! The purpose of having a diocesan competition is to celebrate excellence in Catholic education, and to challenge our students who make up our decathlon team. Given the team structure it also emphasizes collaboration among students. Coaches and parents play an integral part of the team process as they guide and instruct these students.”

To exemplify the school’s support and enthusiasm for their fellow classmates, students cheered the team on at an all-school rally as they headed to take on the decathlon competition. The energy and school spirit of The Nativity School was felt by all who participated, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Nativity is located at 6309 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe, near Fairbanks Ranch. Visit