Three-peat for Granada Hills Charter High School Winner of the 2013 LAUSD Academic Decathlon Competition

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 8, 2013) — For the third year in a row, Granada Hills Charter High School was crowned the winner of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Academic Decathlon competition, leading all District high school teams by scoring 56,804.7 points. The highest score possible is 65,400 points.


This latest win earns the high school its fourth LAUSD victory—2013, 2012, 2011 and 2007.  Since 2011, the Granada Hills High School team has trail-blazed their way to perfection by winning the LAUSD Academic Decathlon competition, the California Academic Decathlon, and the U.S. Academic Decathlon contest.


The announcements were made tonight at the LAUSD’s 2013 Academic Decathlon awards ceremony at Hollywood High School.  Hundreds of decathletes, representing 58 high school teams in the District, gathered in the auditorium at Hollywood High School to celebrate their achievements with family members, friends, teachers, principals, LAUSD staff, and other supporters.  Top-scoring students also were honored with individual medals and trophies for academic achievement.


“I am so proud of our nine Granada Hills Academic Decathletes,” said School Board Vice President Tamar Galatzan. “Year after year they put in the hundreds of hours and the fierce dedication it takes to pull off consecutive and spectacular wins. I wish them luck as they head to the state competition.” 


“I could not be more proud of the members and coaches of the Granada Hills Charter High School Academic Decathlon team,” said LAUSD Superintendent John E. Deasy. “They work together as a community of learners and continue to demonstrate excellence in what is a very rigorous and impressive exercise of skills and knowledge.”


Members of Granada Hills Charter High School’s winning team are: Jae Kyung Chong, Seung Woo Baek, Hamidah Mahmud, Kelly Ma, Kimberly Ly, Kailin Li, Dayoung Kim, Faria Ghori, and Beatrice Dimaunahan.  The Coaches are Matt Arnold, Spencer Wolf, and Nicholas Weber.


The team advances to the 2013 California Academic Decathlon competition, scheduled March 15-17, in Sacramento.  Since 1987, LAUSD has won 18 state contests and 13 national titles.


Joining Granada Hills Charter High School competing in the California Academic Decathlon contest are the following high schools: Marshall, Franklin, El Camino Real Charter, Bell, Garfield, Hamilton, Narbonne, Francis Polytechnic and North Hollywood.


For the second year in a row, Marshall High School earned second place honors with 56,445.4 points, Franklin High School placed third with 55,913.6, El Camino Real Charter nabbed fourth place honors 55,421.3, and Bell High School finished fifth with 47,871.2 points.


-Rounding out the Top 10 scoring schools are Garfield High School, sixth place, with 43,768.9 points; Hamilton High School, seventh place, with 43,096.7 points; Narbonne High School, eighth place, with 42,799.6 points; Francis Polytechnic High School, ninth place, with 42,355.7 points; and North Hollywood High School, 10th place, with 42,073.5 points.


Over the years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has emerged as an academic decathlon powerhouse, with several of its high school teams consistently winning local, state and national titles. Currently, LAUSD boasts more championships—13—than any other school district in the country.


According to Cliff Ker, coordinator of the Academic Decathlon for LAUSD, the teams of decathletes from Granada Hills Charter High School, Marshall High School, Franklin and El Camino Real Charter High Schools, have earned the highest regional scores in the U.S. according to Demidec Scores sites, which calculated the final tab of scores.  In 33 years, there have been only 60 teams that have scored over 50,000 in all the regional, state, and national competitions. This year, the LAUSD is proud to boast about four.


The top scoring student, Marvin Paparisto is from Marshall High School, with 9,252.9 points. He is followed by Hamidah Mahmud from Granada Hills Charter High School with 9,074.3 points and Johnathan Yih from El Camino Real Charter High School scored 9,020.0


Marvin Paparisto from Marshall High School took top prize in the Honor Division (GPA of 3.75 and above) with 9,252.9 points. Kailin Li, from Granada Hills Charter High School, was honored as the best scoring student in the Scholastic Division (GPA 3.00-3.74) with 8,836.4 points; and Alex Moreno from Franklin High School, was recognized as the highest scoring student in the Varsity Division (GPA 2.99 and below) with 8,837.9. 


Granada Hills Charter High School and Marshall High School tied for first place with 5,025 as the victors of the Super Quiz competition. The highest score possible was 6,000 points. Franklin High School placed second with 4,875 points.


In all, 10 decathletes earned perfect scores in the Super Quiz relay, held February 2, at the Roybal Learning Center.


“I am incredibly proud of all of our Decathletes and Coaches for the dedication to academic excellence they have shown, and will continue to show,” said Cliff Ker, coordinator of the LAUSD’s Academic Decathlon.


Nick Weber, Coach of Granada Hills Charter, won the Coach of the Year award.


This year’s LAUSD Academic Decathlon 10-quiz competition involved speech, interviews (prepared and impromptu), essay, art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, social science and “Super Quiz” written and oral relay. The scores of all 10 quizzes were tallied together to declare the winner. This year’s study topic was “Russia.”

Contact: Monica Carazo (213) 241-6766
             Cliff Kerr (818) 730--0283