About Us

About Arizona Academic Decathlon Association

Anita Lohr Founder of AADA
Anita Lohr Founder of AADA

The Academic Decathlon® program was started in California in 1968 by the Orange County Academic Decathlon Association, in cooperation with the Orange County Superintendent of School’s office. The Arizona Academic Decathlon Association (AADA) was formed in 1985 from the Pima County Academic Decathlon Association, which was started the previous year by the Pima County School Superintendent. Arizona held its first statewide competition in 1985.

The AADA, made up of representatives of the business community, civic organizations, and concerned individuals, was formed to promote Decathlon programs throughout the state. Contributions to the program are tax deductible under IRS 501(c)(3) provisions.

Our Program

AADA has provided high-level scholastic competition for Arizona high school students since our inception more than 30 years ago. As the name indicates, students compete in ten areas: art, economics, essay, interview, literature, mathematics, music, science, social science, & speech.

Each team of nine decathletes includes three Honor, three Scholastic, and three Varsity students; each level competes only against other students within that category. All decathletes receive a certificate of recognition and the opportunity to win medals and trophies within their categories. Scholarships may be also be awarded for top-scoring decathletes and members of winning teams.

Arizona has four regional competitions held the first weekend in February; in any given year, over 50 teams compete at the regional level. 30 teams advance to the state competition in March, with the state champion going on to the United States Academic Decathlon National Finals in April. Arizona’s teams regularly place in the top 10 nationally.

Our mission is to promote, motivate and acknowledge excellence in academic efforts and educational achievement through a program of academic competitions for high school students of all scholastic achievement levels.

Our goals are to encourage students to excel in academic pursuits by promoting enthusiasm for learning, developing a spirit of competition, working as a member of a team, participating in peer tutoring, undertaking interdisciplinary study, emphasizing preparation and research, acquiring an understanding of the fine arts and increasing communication skills.

AADA also strives to improve the total educational program in Arizona by promoting the importance of excellence in broad academic performance, motivating students to reach their fullest potential and establishing a positive image of students in our communities.

We also encourage community and business involvement and support of academic excellence through contribution of funds, time, talent and/or materials.