Three-peat Champions: Granada Hills Charter High School Wins 2013 U.S Academic Decathlon

LOS ANGELES —Three-peat! Three-peat! Three-peat!  Granada Hills Charter High School students are celebrating, not one, not two but their third consecutive title as U.S. Academic Decathlon champions.

Representing California, the independent public charter school today won the 2013 U.S. Academic Decathlon competition in Minneapolis. The victory earned the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) its 14th national title.

Over 450 students from the United States and London gathered at the Hilton Minneapolis April 25-27 to compete in the 2013 United States Academic Decathlon National Competition. 

The nine-member team scored 54,652.93 points out of 66,000, beating 52 other high school academic decathlon teams across the U.S. in this year’s rigorous scholastic battle. 

“In having the top two teams in the country, LAUSD this year exceeded our own amazingly high standards in the academic decathlon,” said Superintendent John Deasy.  “I’m so proud of Granada Hills Charter High School, for proving once again that when it comes to the Academic Decathlon, our District is way ahead of the competition.” 

School Board Vice President Tamar Galatzan said, “Congratulations to Granada Hills Charter High School for winning the 2013 U.S. Academic Decathlon.  It is a testament to the students’ commitment to academic and personal development. The top two national competitors hail from my board district in the San Fernando Valley. Their performance showcases the outstanding education taking place in local public schools.” 

Members of Granada Hills Charter High School’s winning team are: Jae Kyung Chong, Seung Woo Baek, Hamidah Mahmud, Kelley Ma, Kimberly Ly, Kailin Li, Dayoung Kim, Faria Ghori, and Beatrice Dimaunahan.  The Coaches are Matt Arnold, Spencer Wolf, and Nicholas Weber. Top-scoring students were honored with individual medals and trophies for academic achievement at an awards ceremony held in Minneapolis where the winning team was announced.
During Friday’s competition, El Camino Real students won first place in the Super Quiz event.  Overall, the former Academic Decathlon champs came in second place at the 32nd U.S. Academic Decathlon competition. El Camino Real High School has won nine titles and six national championships.

The academic decathlon is a team competition in which students battle their intellectual skills with students from other schools. They are tested in 10 categories: art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. This year’s study subject: Russia

In February, Granada Hills won the 2013 LAUSD Academic competition and subsequently secured first place honors at the state contest.   At that competition, El Camino Real Charter students also placed second, allowing the team to compete nationally.

Teams from California have won 11 consecutive national titles, while dominating competitors. State teams have failed to place first or second only once in 31 years. Overall, Granada Hills has won three national and three state titles.

“This is my 13th nationals and by far the most exciting,” said Cliff Ker, coordinator for the LAUSD Academic Decathlon. ” It was a close race between Granada and El Camino.” All the kids and the coaches are so wonderful and they worked hard for this event.” I also want to extend my praise and support to Franklin High School who participated in the Academic Decathlon online competition.”

“Congratulations to all the students and coaches who participated in the academic decathlon. It was a remarkable and unforgettable competition.”

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