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Our History

2008 Super Quiz
They ought to have more school rallies and a decathlon of studies. Dr. Robert Peterson, future founder of Academic Decathlon, writing as a POW in Nazi Germany

The brainchild of Dr. Robert Peterson, World War II B-17 pilot and later superintendent of schools in Orange County, California, the very first Academic Decathlon competition was held in 1968 in Orange County, California as a means of recognizing academic excellence and achievement that matched the rigor and intensity as well as the team environment of high school athletics. By 1982, the program had spread to sixteen more states, all of which competed at the first Nationals competition that year, held at Loyola Marymount University. In the three decades since, nearly every aspect of the competition has been tweaked and updated to reflect and prepare students for our rapidly changing society, but Academic Decathlon has inspired and continues to inspire hundreds of thousands of students across the United States to pursue a lifelong commitment to exploration, leadership, and community.

Lifetime educator Henry Lukas initiated the long and storied history of Massachusetts Academic Decathlon in the 1983 season, and the state program hasn't looked back since. From its first state champion, Newton North, placing 5th across the nation in 1985 to the continued dominance of Acton-Boxborough Regional with 11 top-10 finishes at Nationals in the 21st century alone, Massachusetts schools have achieved tremendous success at the regional, state, and national levels.

Below you'll find a list of Massachusetts State Champions dating back to 1985. For the latest complete competition results from the 2015-16 school year, visit the Results page. You can find a more comprehensive breakdown by year and scores (as well as current and former scores from competitions in other states) at the crowd-sourced and regularly-updated Academic Decathlon Scores and Information Center.

State Championships
School Number of Titles Years Won
Acton-Boxborough Regional 24 1992-1999, 2001-2016
Framingham North 2 1990, 1991
Wayland 2 1987, 1989
Newton North 2 1985, 1986
Weymouth 1 2000
Franklin 1 1988
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