Granada Hills Charter High will need a bigger trophy case after winning the 36th annual Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) 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 of Los Angeles, earned second-place honors with 58,882.5 points.
Rounding out the top five places are Franklin High of Los Angeles with 57,769.9 points; El Camino Real Charter High with 57,147.9 points; and Garfield High of Los Angeles with 52,025.8 points.
“Another outstanding showing from our students,” said LAUSD 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 Feb. 10 during a ceremony at Hollywood High. Hundreds of decathletes from 62 high schools celebrated their achievements with relatives, friends, teachers, principals, L.A. Unified leaders and other supporters.
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. Granada Hills earned its first District decathlon title in 2007, then won local, state and national championships from 2011-2013.
Students Mark Aguila, Jordan Barretto, Sabrina Carlos, Sebastian Gonzalez, Christopher Lo, Kevin Ly, Aishah Mahmud, Melissa Santos and Peter Shin were the winning team. They are coached by Mathew Arnold, Harsimar Dhanoa, Jonathan Sturtevant and Rachel Phipps.
Gonzalez was recognized as the highest-scoring student in the Varsity Division (GPA 2.99 and below) with 9,094.3 points.
Granada Hills instructor Mathew Arnold from was honored as Coach of the Year.
“The dedication, spirit and motivation to win is nothing short of admirable for the decathletes of Granada Hills Charter High School,” said district 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.