Coppell Student Media

Q&A: Federica Ferrari on upcoming Academic Decathlon competition

During fourth period on Thursday, Coppell High School senior Federica Ferrari prepares for an upcoming academic decathlon tournament in the CHS library. Ferrari is the captain for the 2016-2017 school year and has been a member of the academic decathlon team at CHS since her sophomore year.

Amanda Hair

During fourth period on Thursday, Coppell High School senior Federica Ferrari prepares for an upcoming academic decathlon tournament in the CHS library. Ferrari is the captain for the 2016-2017 school year and has been a member of the academic decathlon team at CHS since her sophomore year.

Farah Merchant, Staff Writer

Coppell High School Senior Federica Ferrari has been in the Academic Decathlon (AcDec) program since her sophomore year. Her dedication to AcDec has paid off as she is now captain of the team. The following questions detail Ferrari’s experience in AcDec and their competitions.

Describe your AcDec experience during competitions?

“Well this is my third year in AcDec. I started out as a sophomore so my experiences have changed a whole lot since my sophomore year. My first year I was very very nervous just because I didn’t know what to expect. At this point I’m still super nervous but I kind-of know how it works I think that more studying and more preparing makes you less nervous for competition. It’s really cool to just be around people from other schools that have kind-of similar interest and so I’d like to talk to people from other schools.”

Is there anything different between this competition and former ones?

“The teams change drastically every year. Last year, we were really close to the state title. This year we have a much newer team. I’m actually the only returning member of the competitive team so just the team dynamics are completely different. It’ll be interesting how competition turns out with a completely inexperienced team. Since I’m captain, I hope these kids can get the best experiences that they can.”

What inspired you to join AcDec?

“I actually didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Freshman year I knew a girl who was a junior in AcDec. I had an empty class my sophomore year and she told me to join AcDec. I did and Dixon gave me this whole stack of guides to study and I was horrified. I almost quit but I didn’t and now I’m here three years later.”

What challenges have you faced in AcDec competitions?

“Just in general it’s really stressful doing IB and AcDec isn’t advised. Just being able to balance my work and at competitions being able to separate out my IB work with my AcDec stuff. Just focusing on AcDec sometimes is hard when you have a bunch of assignments in the back of your head. But I think the biggest challenge last year was when we got second by [a little]. Aside from that there hasn’t been many challenges.”

Does what you learn in AcDec bleed into your normal life?

“Oh yeah definitely. Especially last year since the topic was India. Seeing that a lot of my friends are from India, I think it’s really cool to be able to actually learn in a more structured way about their culture. With World War II, which is the topic now, I’m from Italy, my grandparents a lot of them actually lived through the way, and a lot of my great-grandparents were involved in the fighting and concentration camps. It definitely does bleed into my life.”

What do you hope to achieve in this AcDec competition?

“Well first of all, we hope definitely to qualify for state but I think that will happen. We would like to win regions again as it would be our third year of winning it. Just hope to give these kids the best time possible.”

What are your future plans for AcDec?

“I just hope that a lot of these kids come back the next years. I’ve definitely singled out a couple of younger members for the next teams. I just hope to transmit the enthusiasm for AcDec. Let’s just say it’s not the most attractive thing to join. It sounds very painstaking and it definitely is but it’s a lot more fun than people actually think it is. I just hope to transmit all of that to the future members of AcDec.”

How do you think these future plans will affect the program after you leave?

“After I leave, hopefully these kids come back next year because we’ll have a more veteran team so hopefully we’ll do better and better. Dixon, just as a coach, and Mrs. Kunkel and Mrs. Sheppard, all of our coaches are getting more experience as the years go on. I just hope that between last year and getting so close to the state title that Coppell will finally be able to win the state at some point.”

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About the Contributors
Farah Merchant, Co-Student Life Editor

Farah Merchant is a senior and third-year staff writer and Student Life Editor on The Sidekick. She also works for the Citizen's Advocate, the local Coppell...

Amanda Hair, Sports Photography Editor

Amanda Hair is a senior at Coppell High School, this being her final year on The Sidekick and her first year as the Sports Photography Editor. She is also...

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