El Camino Real Charter High School Wins California Academic Decathlon

LOS ANGELES (March 26, 2018) — Yes, L.A. Unified did it again. Another victory!  El Camino Real Charter High School today conquered the 2018 California Academic Decathlon competition. These superstar students will now travel to Frisco, Texas on a mission to win the national title.

At the state contest, the team scored 61,612.40. The study topic was Africa, and students competed in 10-quiz competitions involving speech, interviews, essay, art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, social science plus the Super Quiz.

The El Camino Real Charter High School 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.

The ninemember team will represent California at the 36th Annual United States Academic Decathlon Competition, scheduled April 19-22, in Frisco, TX. If they prevail, California will claim its 16h national title. L.A. Unified will also celebrate its 18th national title, and 23rd state title.

The Conquistadores last won the coveted state and national titles in 2014.

Fourteen L.A. Unified high schools competed in Sacramento. They are: Bell Senior High School, Chatsworth Charter High School, Grover Cleveland Charter High School, El Camino Real Charter High School, Benjamin Franklin High School, James A. Garfield Senior High School, Granada Hills Charter High School, Ulysses S. Grant Senior High School, Alexander Hamilton Senior High School, Nathaniel Narbonne High School, North Hollywood Senior High School, Palisades Charter High School, Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences and Van Nuys Senior High School.

A perennial powerhouse, El Camino Real Charter High School won their first L.A. Unified Academic Decathlon nearly a decade ago in 1989.

“Another stellar performance from El Camino Real Charter High School,” said Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson. “Congratulations on this victorious milestone in your ACADECA career. Year after year, you have mastered and outperformed each other, leading to victory and your personal best.”  

Coming in second in the state competition, current national champion, Granada Hill Charter High School with 60,949.20 points, will advance to the national online competition in the large school category, also held in April.

In other congratulatory news, Granada Hill Charter placed first in the Super Quiz competition with 5,880.00.  

El Camino Real Charter finished second in the Super Quiz with 5,670.00 points and Franklin High School came in third place with 5,320.00 points.

“Congratulations to our outstanding decathletes and their phenomenal coaches,” said Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian. “On behalf of the L.A. Unified family, we are inspired by your drive, hard work and competitive spirit. Thank you for proudly representing our school district and bringing back another state title."

The winners were announced before a boisterous crowd at the 2018 California Academic Decathlon’s award ceremony at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. Rounding out the top 10 scoring teams

Franklin High School finished fourth behind South Pasadena High School with a score of 57,737.40. Garfield High School finished seventh with a score of 53,221.50 and Bell High School placed 10th with a score of 52,298.30.

“I am so proud of the consistency and tenacity of our east schools!” said Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez. “I am inspired and in awe of the students from Franklin and Bell for competing three years in a row at the State Academic Decathlon. Congratulations to El Camino Real Charter for winning this year’s Academic Decathlon. Thank you to all of the decathletes for your superb school spirit, to the teachers and coaches who supported them on this unforgettable journey, and especially to the parents for their sacrifice and commitment.”

“The commitment of the students, coaches and their school administrators to the Academic Decathlon program is impressive,” said Administrator of Enrichment Programs Kathy Gonnella “The school wide support is evident in the achievements of each of our 14 schools that qualified for an invitation to the state competition. Congratulations to all the decathletes, their school staffs and their families.”

In all, 600 students representing 69 high school teams from across the state competed in this year’s California Academic Decathlon. Teams are composed of three Honor students (3.75 and above GPA), three Scholastic students (3.00-3.74 GPA), and three Varsity students (2.99 GPA and below).

The Academic Decathlon originated locally in Orange County, California, in 1968 under the direction of the late Dr. Robert Peterson, then Orange County Superintendent of Schools. The competition went statewide in 1979 and has been a national event since 1982. L.A. Unified earned its first of many state and national trophies in 1986, represented by Marshall Senior High School.

Return flight information: El Camino Real Charter decathletes will arrive at Hollywood Burbank Airport on Southwest Airlines. Flight 1212 arriving at 9:40 p.m.

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 Contact: Moncia Carazo (213) 241-6766