At PV High, the Academic Decathlon Team is a source of school pride. Established in 2009, the PVHS Aca Dec program has competed very successfully in the Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon competitions, winning many awards and dozens of medals, including Best New School in 2009, Most Improved Team twice and a Team Gold Medal for first place in the 2015 Super Quiz.
Academic Decathlon is place for students to share their love of learning, make new friends and to compete academically with the best students throughout Los Angeles County. PVHS Aca Dec is always recruiting new members and we are looking forward to many more successful competitions in the future.
Mock Trial in its eighth year running continues to grow in popularity amongst the kids as well as challenging and competitive program amongst the student body. One of 76 schools in Los Angeles County that keeps yearly in the National Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial program, PVHS has but two years reached within the elite eight. Individual accolades have been constant as well. This year alone, PVHS took home 14 individual awards, including Defense Attorney of the Year, awarded to only one student who exemplifies the skills, demeanor and disposition of a criminal defense attorney.
Model United Nations is an international program that allows high school and College students to compete and engage in debate about global issues in mock UN committees at conferences throughout the state and country. PVHS MUN students participate in conferences at UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Geargetown University among others. PVHS students enrolled in MUN earn social studies elective credit and are also able to satisfy requirements toward earning the prestigious Palos Verdes International Diploma.
“Model United Nations gave me the opportunity to interact with more students in my grade, and upper classmen as well. I made so many new friends in MUN and that really helped me adjust to high school. It also helped me immensely with my public speaking skills, and it assisted me in engaging in diplomatic discussions with strong viewpoints. Model UN is an amazing program that really contributed to my high school experience” Lindsey Hoffman, class of 2011.
“When I was in the eighth grade and had to choose between Palos Verdes and Peninsula High School, one of the main reasons I came to PV was its strong Model UN program. The Model UN program at PV is a true force for not only educating students, but also for building friendships and relationships that will help guide you through your high school career. From the beginning, whole teams of upper classmen made it their mission to help freshman learn the ropes of MUN. More than that, the friendships made during MUN trips to places like UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA or Mission Viejo only made the experience all the better. So whether you’re looking for friends, guidance, an incredible learning experience, or more, PV’s MUN program is the place for you.” Ryan Low, class of 2011, Princeton class of 2015, Marshall Scholar.
The speech and debate program is unique because it a team atmosphere that must operate in a classroom setting. Specifically, speech is an individual event that allows the students to dig deep into a topic of their interest and share their passion. Debate forces the students to look at and argue for both sides of a current issue, and therefore they must research and propose means of improvement. The Forensics Team as a whole provides a platform for the students to speak their mind, advocate for social improvement, and persuade others’ perspectives. Through this program, the students: expand their research abilities, develop deeper analysis for topics, learn how to express their ideas in an organized manner, understand the necessity to adapt their message to their audience, establish a delivery style that conveys their personality while growing their professionalism, strengthen their listening skills and evolve their aptitude to immediately respond in a debate, gain confidence to speak in front of others, and apply critical life skills that go beyond the classroom. Despite living in such a progressive world, students are being taught less and less the importance of engaging with others who think differently that they do. This program prevents individuals from surrounding themselves with only likeminded people and allows for them to have tough conversation about the hard hitting questions. Through the Forensics Team, we can truly come to agree on a resolution to these concerns and ultimately change our worldview and the world itself.