Every week, in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education we tell stories about South Valley students with great character.
At Harmony Magnet Academy in Strathmore the academic decathlon team is studying hard and preparing for their upcoming competition.
“They cover such categories as economics, social science, language and literature, art, music, speech, and essay,” said Academic Decathlon Coach, John De Nicola.
Being on this team — takes a unique kind of athlete.
“A lot of people believe that academic decathlon is for smart kids, but I think it’s for kids that want to be smart,” Harmony’s Academic Decathlon Team Member, Sameera Hussain said.
This year’s newest team member, Asiary Palacios, known as Gaby, has hit the ground running and become a fast leader on the team.
Academic Decathlon Coach John De Nicola says Gaby’s has become a huge asset on the team and her word is as good as gold.
“She’s very reliable, very responsible, and if she says she is going to do something I know that whatever she says will be done and will be done in a timely fashion,” De Nicola.
For Gaby, academics didn’t always come easy. But she stayed positive, worked hard, and was determined.
“When you kind of just thinking about your future and what you want to do that you make the change and the change is so passionate that you do whatever you can to change and make that change a success,” said Asiary Palacios, a Junior at Harmony Magnet Academy.
Inspiring her teammates to always do their best, even when challenges come their way.
“She is really positive and if we don’t think we can do it she is always there to help us,” Sameera Hussain said.
The motto of the group, is one of is is not smarter than all of us. Which represents what Gaby stands for:
“Decathlon is unity, and if one person wins, everybody wins,” Gaby said.
Gaby Palacios of Harmony Magnet Academy shows us why Your Character Matters.