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Facts of Academic Decathlon team funding misrepresented

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

I am writing on account of the article in last week’s paper on the Cazenovia Academic Decathlon Team; while I appreciate the coverage on the issue, some of the facts were misrepresented to the Cazenovia Republican.

First of all it was made clear to the team that the reason the coaches of this past season stepped down was in fact due to the time and energy fundraising all of that money took and will continue to take as we strive to meet our goal of going to nationals in Hawaii this year. While we (the AD team) are sad to see these coaches step down, we know we can continue to count on them for support and advice, and we look forward to working with new advisors that will bring something different to our group.

The second fact I want to address is the school board’s funding in the past. It is true what was stated, that the policy is to “fund the team advisors and the purchase of the yearly study materials, and to bus the team to local and regional competitions.” However, that is not all that the district has funded in the past. In past years (eight out of the nine years the club has existed) every aspect of the Academic Decathlon team was covered, from study materials to the national trip, which was in Hawaii in 2007 (the destination for this year’s trip.)

So even though it was said that, “nothing has changed in the way the team has been supported,” I beg to differ — everything has changed. This change isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I personally feel that fundraising and working towards a goal are great lessons, but I also feel that it is an impossibility for a team of roughly 13 students to raise that kind of money on their own. While we have done fundraising in the past (typically only a few hundred dollars per year), the school also provided for us in the past, now we are starting out with nothing.

What the students on the Academic Decathlon team want is to be met halfway. The AD team is in the process of finding new advisors and sponsors, while the future is still uncertain I am confident that things will look up with the help of the community and school board.

DANIELLE AXELSON

ACADEMIC DECATHLON TEAM MEMBER

CAZENOVIA

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