Once a Champion, Always a Champion: El Camino Real Charter High School Wins L.A. Unified's Academic Decathlon

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 12, 2018) -- El Camino Real Charter High has won L.A. Unified’s 37th Annual Academic Decathlon, the 12th District title for the school.

The team took first place with 60,714.0 out of a possible score of 65,880.0. Current National Champ, Granada Hills Charter High School, earned second-place honors with 60,127.4 points. Rounding out the top five places are Franklin High School with 58,103.4 points; Grant High School with 50,975.9 points and Bell High School with 50,736.3 points.

“Congratulations to an exceptional performance from El Camino Real Charter decathletes,” said School Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, whose District includes Woodland Hills. “Your dedication and championship- minded motivation to win is to be commended. “Cheers to all advancing teams heading to the State competition,” he added.

The winners were announced Sunday afternoon during a ceremony at Belmont High School. Hundreds of decathletes from 57 high schools celebrated their achievements with relatives, friends, teachers, principals, L.A. Unified leaders and other supporters.

The El Camino Real Charter decathletes are: Inesh Ahuja, Ashtar Fayoumi, Matthew Fitzmorris, Briana Lincoln, Rachel Markenson, Nolan Origer, Avery Tamura, Maya Teitz and Trevor Winnard. The coach is Stephanie Franklin.

“Congratulations to the El Camino Real Charter High School students and coaches for their fortitude, team effort and winning attitude,” said Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian. “We wish them well on their quest for their 11th State ACADECA Championship!”

El Camino Real Charter High earned its first District decathlon in 1989. From 1998-2002 the school won the Decathlon and nabbed the state and national championship crown in 1998 and 2001.The academic powerhouse last won the State and National championships in 2014.

El Camino Real Charter and the 13 other top-scoring District schools will compete in the California Academic Decathlon, scheduled March 23-25 in Sacramento. In addition to Granada, Franklin, Grant and Bell, the other competitors will be Garfield High School with 49,289.1; Van Nuys High with 48,012.6 points; Cleveland Charter High with 47,606.9 points; Palisades Charter High, with 47,356.70 points; Chatsworth High School with 45,816.30 points; North Hollywood High School, with 45,746.2; Hamilton High School, with 45,527.00, Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences, with 44,982.7 and Narbonne High School, with 44,867.2.

Since 1987, L.A. Unified schools have won 22 state contests and 17 national titles.

“I am so proud of all the students who participate in Academic Decathlon program,” said Academic Programs Coordinator Katherine Gonnella. “Their level of commitment to the program is remarkable. Academic Decathlon not only enriches knowledge; it strengthens the skills students need to be college and career ready when they complete high school.”

It was a sweep for El Camino Real Charter decathletes who earned the top scores and were honored with individual medals and trophies for academic achievement:

Maya Teitz from El Camino Real Charter High School took home the top prize in the Honors Division (grade-point average of 3.75 and above) with a total of 9,650.0 points.

Matthew Fitzmorris from El Camino Real Charter School was honored as the best scoring student in the Scholastic Division (GPA 3.00-3.74) with 9,290.0 points.

Trevor Winnard from El Camino Real Charter High School was recognized as the highest-scoring student in the Varsity Division (GPA 2.99 and below) with 9,518.4 points. 

Maria Guerra from Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences was honored as Coach of the Year.

The final official score of the Super Quiz was 5,740 earned by Granada Hills Charter HS.

The Decathlon is made up of 10 separate competitions, which this year dealt with the subject of Africa. 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.

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