LOS ANGELES (Feb. 10, 2017) - Granada Hills Charter High will need a bigger trophy case after winning the 36th annual L.A. Unified Academic Decathlon, the seventh District title for the school.
The team took first place with 59,864.7 out of a possible 60,000.00 points. A previous decathlon winner, Marshall High School, earned second-place honors with 58,882.5 points. Rounding out the top five places are Franklin High School with 57,769.9 points; El Camino Real Charter High School with 57,147.9 points; and Garfield High School with 52,025.8 points.
“Another outstanding showing from our students,” said L.A. Unified Superintendent Michelle King. “On behalf of the entire L.A. Unified family, congratulations to our teams for their outstanding performances. Our scholars are shining stars today and every day.”
The winners were announced Friday night during a ceremony at Hollywood High School. During the ceremony, hundreds of decathletes from 62 high schools celebrated their achievements with relatives, friends, teachers, principals, L.A. Unified leaders and other supporters.
Granada Hills Charter High earned its first District decathlon in 2007, then returned with a vengeance from 2011-2013, winning local, state and national championships.
Students Mark Aguila, Jordan Barretto, Sabrina Carlos, Sebastian Gonzalez, Christopher Lo, Kevin Ly, Aishah Mahmud, Melissa Santos and Peter Shin make up the winning team. They are coached by Mathew Arnold, Harsimar Dhanoa, Jonathan Sturtevant and Rachel Phipps.
“The dedication, spirit and motivation to win is nothing short of admirable for the decathletes of Granada Hills Charter High School,” said School Board Member Scott Schmerelson, whose District includes Granada Hills. “Congratulations to all advancing teams heading to the State competition.”
Granada Hills and the nine other top-scoring District schools will compete in the California Academic Decathlon, scheduled March 23-26 in Sacramento. In addition to Marshall, Franklin, El Camino and Garfield, the other competitors will be Grant High, which earned 49,696.0 points; Palisades Charter High with 46,860.0 points; Van Nuys High with 45,984.3 points; Bell High, with 45,651.8 points; and North Hollywood High with 43,989.8 points.
Since 1987, L.A. Unified schools have won 21 state contests and 17 national titles.
"I continue to be amazed at the dedication to academic excellence that the decathletes and coaches from L.A. Unified demonstrate year after year,” said L.A. Unified Academic Decathlon Events Coordinator Cliff Ker. “I am incredibly proud of everyone here tonight.”
Top scoring students also were honored with individual medals and trophies for academic achievement:
Anrui Gu from Marshall High School took home the top prize in the Honor Division (grade-point average of 3.75 and above) with a total of 9,636.7 points.
Alex Munoz from Franklin High School was honored as the best scoring student in the Scholastic Division (GPA 3.00-3.74) with 9,468.0 points.
Sebastian Gonzalez from Granada Hills Charter High School was recognized as the highest-scoring student in the Varsity Division (GPA 2.99 and below) with 9,094.3 points.
Mathew Arnold from Granada Hills Charter High School was honored as Coach of the Year.
The Decathlon is made up of 10 separate competitions, which this year dealt with the subject of World War II. The events are speech, prepared and impromptu interviews, essay, art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, social science and “Super Quiz” written and oral relay.
Contact: Monica Carazo 213-247-4087 (cell) or Cliff Ker, Coordinator, LAUSD Academic Decathlon 818-730-0283 (cell)