Sandra Day O'Connor High School
|Sandra Day O'Connor High School|
[[Image:|center||Sandra Day O'Connor High School logo]]
|History||O'Connor has been a perennial state qualifier, but in 2010 qualified 6th at state|
|City||San Antonio, Texas|
|Team Colors||Blue and Gold|
|Head Coach||Pamela "Mother" Hummel (in perpetuity), Aaron "Westy" Westbrook|
|Associate/Other Head Coach(es)|
|Regional/County Championships||2010, 2011, 2012|
|Region/County Location||Region IV|
|Highest Finish||6th in 2010 Texas Academic Decathlon State Championship (5A)|
Sandra Day O'Connor High School is a four year comprehensive high school located in Helotes, Texas (just northwest of San Antonio) which opened in 1998 as part of the Northside Independent School District. O'Connor was Northside's sixth major high school (now up to 10). As of 2013, it is the Northern most school of NISD, and is one of the largest schools (in population) in the district. O'Connor, while still relatively young, has a strong tradition of doing well in academic competitions. O'Connor has fielded successful Academic Decathlon, Super Quiz, National Science Bowl, Forensics, and UIL Competition teams. All have competed at the State or National Level, adding to the "Panther Pride" that the small town of Helotes and its inhabitants share for the school.
O'Connor has been a perennial state qualifier in the Texas Large School competition, having first advanced to state in 2000. In 2001, it obtained its highest finish at state up to that point, finishing 17th. In 2002, O'Connor broke 40,000 points for the first time at state. 2004 saw O'Connor fail to advance to state for the first time since 1999, but O'Connor has advanced to state every year since. In 2010, O'Connor became the second Northside school to break into the State Top 10, earning 6th at the state competition.
In addition, O'Connor has had three students win individual medals and scholarships at the state competition for their overall performance:
- Aubrey Langford: 5th, Varsity (2007)
- Alex Guerra: 3rd, Varsity (2010)
- Tomas Rivera: 5th, Varsity (2010)
Rise to competitive status
O'Connor did not become a top ten school in Texas Academic Decathlon until 2007, when it ranked inside the top ten for the first time in school history in the Statewide region rankings (also known as the Teams Advancing to State list). However, O'Connor could not hold on, and slid to 11th place overall at the State competition, which set a new record for the highest placement of an O'Connor team. 2007 was also the second time a O'Connor team recorded a 40,000+ score.
O'Connor closed the gap dramatically in 2008, coming within just 532 points of defeating Holmes for the Regional title, and advanced to state again in the top ten. However, the team slid down again at state, finishing 14th, but recorded a 42,000+ score at state for the first time in school history.
O'Connor placed second in Regionals, behind Earl Warren High School. Entering the State Competition in 17th position, the Panthers were able to vault up 5 places to 12th place in the state competition. With 5 of its 9 members returning, a top 10 state final looked to be a real possibility.
Even though the sudden passing of their Principal, Larry Martin, shocked their team, O'Connor was able to record a tremendous victory at the Regional level. Outscoring the next closest team by nearly 7000 points, O'Connor swept first place in all three divisions, and entered the State Competition in 5th place.
Unlike previous years in which the State competition witnessed a dramatic decline for the Panthers' rank, O'Connor finished in a strong 6th place overall, earning second place in the Team Super Quiz Relay and third place in the overall Super Quiz Events. Two varsity students earned scholarships as well. The total score of 44,641 is still the highest recorded score in school history.
Future of O'Connor
<2008> O'Connor is currently on an upswing that would normally propel the Panthers to a possible regional championship and most likely, a top ten place in the final state rankings. However, the movement of students from O'Connor to Brandeis may cause considerable difficulties for O'Connor, but regardless of the change, advancing to state in 2009 for the Panthers seems all but certain.
<2013> With the retirement of coach Pam Hummel, O'Connor's future is a little uncertain. While coach Westbrook is certainly willing and enthusiastic, change always comes with the possibility of decline. We are hopeful that a new crop of O'Connor Decathletes will step up and continue the winning tradition that is expected of this great program.
- 2000: 39,410 (38th)
- 2001: 37,627 (17th)
- 2002: 40,916 (26th)
- 2003: 37,315 (32nd)
- 2004: Did Not Qualify
- 2005: 36,759 (34th)
- 2006: 34,494 (35th)
- 2007: 41,262 (11th)
- 2008: 42,090 (14th)
- 2009: 42,248 (12th)
- 2010: 44,661 (6th)
- 2011: 42,842 (11th)
- 2012: 40,183 (15th)
- 2013: 40,320 (22nd)
Storyline STILL in progress.