Another Trophy for Granada Hills Charter High School

 LOS ANGELES — Granada Hills Charter High School won the 35th Annual LAUSD Academic Decathlon competition, leading all District high school teams in scoring with 55,175.7 points out of 60,000.00possible points.

This victory marked the sixth time Granada Hills Charter High School has won the District title. The school earned its first LAUSD decathlon competition in 2007. Then, the school came back with a vengeance from 2011-2013, winning local, state and national championships. Last year the Highlanders reclaimed the crown from their arch rivals, El Camino Real Charter High School, claiming state and national championships.

“Heartfelt congratulations to the Granada Hills High School team for their stellar performance,” said L.A. Unified Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson who represents the winning school. “It was most gratifying to witness all of our students, regardless of school model, competing together in this epic academic pursuit. Every student was excited, competitive and determined to do their best.”

“Congratulations to our decathletes who participated in the Academic Decathlon,” said Michelle King, L.A. Unified Superintendent of Schools. “On behalf of the District, we are so proud of each and every one of you for your sacrifice, diligence and hard work. L.A. Unified has a long and storied history of success. For the teams heading to the state decathlon, undeniably, they will represent the best of the best.”

The team advances to the 2016 California Academic Decathlon competition, scheduled March 17-20, in Sacramento. Since 1987, L.A. Unified has won 20 state contests and 16 national titles.

Joining Granada Hills Charter High School competing in the California Academic Decathlon contest are several other high schools: Marshall, Franklin, El Camino Real Charter, Garfield, Bell, Van Nuys, Grant, Narbonne, Hamilton, North Hollywood, and first timers- Cleveland Charter and Lincoln. The number of schools participating in the contest tied the record of 13 teams going to the state tournament in 2012.

Since the California Academic Decathlon began inviting non-winning teams in 1998, 24 schools from L.A. Unified have sent teams to state competition.

A previous LAUSD ACADECA winner, Marshall High School, earned second-place honors with 55,029.8 points, Franklin High School placed third with 54,713.7, El Camino Real Charter High School nabbed fourth place honors at 53,215.7, and Garfield High School finished fifth with 48,963.5 points.

Members of the Granada Hills Charter High School team are: Melissa Santos, Aishah Mahmud, Joshua Lin, Mark Aguila, Jorge Zepeda, Isha Gupta, Julian Duran, Christopher Lo and Mayeena Ulkarim. The coach is Matthew Arnold, Jon Sturtevant and Rachael Phipps.

Rounding out the Top 10 scoring schools were Bell High School, in sixth-place, with 46,474.5 points; Van Nuys High School, seventh-place, with 45,938.2 points; Grant High School, ending in eighth-place, with 45,457.2 points; Narbonne High School, closing in ninth-place, with 43,540.6 points; and Cleveland Charter High School, rounding out in 10th-place, with 43,494.3 points.

The announcements were made at L.A. Unified’s 2016 Academic Decathlon awards ceremony at Hollywood High School. Hundreds of decathletes, representing 58 high school teams in the District, gathered at Hollywood High School to celebrate their achievements with family members, friends, teachers, principals, L.A. Unified staff, and other supporters. Top scoring students also were honored with individual medals and trophies for academic achievement.

Over the years, L.A. Unified has emerged as an academic decathlon powerhouse, with several of its high school teams consistently winning local, state and national titles. Currently, L.A. Unified boasts more championships—16—than any other school district in the country.

Joshua Lin from Granada tied the all-time high individual score with 9,641.4.4 points. He joined the ranks of Irene Lee from Granada’s team last year team, and Kris Sankaran from Moorpark in 2009, who also achieved the same score.

Kevin Murchie from Garfield and Larry Welch from Marshall are co-Coaches of the year.

Joshua Lin from Granada Hills Charter took the top prize in the Honor Division (grade-point average of 3.75 and above) with 9641.4 points. Abeer Hossain from Marshall High School, was honored as the best scoring student in the Scholastic Division (GPA 3.00-3.74) with 9287.8 points; and Alex Munoz from Franklin High School, was recognized as the highest-scoring student in the Varsity Division (GPA 2.99 and below) with 9276.4 points.

Granada Hills Charter, with a perfect score of 5,400 points, was the first-place victor of the Super Quiz competition. Marshall placed second with 5,175 points.

“There are not enough superlatives to describe the brilliance, efforts, and teamwork of the decathletes and coaches from L.A. Unified,” said Cliff Ker, coordinator for Academic Events. “Their quest for academic excellence becomes more amazing each year. I am so proud of all of them."

In the academic decathlon competition, each school team fields nine students—three students from three different grade-point average (GPA) categories—Varsity (2.99 GPA and below), Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and Honor (3.75 and above GPA).

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 this year’s winner. The study topic was India.


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Contact: Monica Carazo 213-247-4087 (cell) #15/16-139
or Cliff Ker, Coordinator, LAUSD Academic Decathlon 818-730-0283 (cell)