LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Students from North Hollywood High School and Reseda High School were recently recognized today by Los Angeles City Council members Paul Krekorian and Bob Blumenfield for being finalists in the National CyberPatriot Championship.

 CyberPatriot is a competition organized by the Air Force Association that tests high school students’ abilities to protect computers from hacking attacks, and the finals were held in Baltimore.

Three teams from North Hollywood High were among the 12 final teams that competed in the Open High School Division and the Reseda High team was one of 13 to compete in the All Services Division.

One team from North Hollywood, Team Togo, was also the national champion.

The teams were finalists out of 4,400 that entered the competition, and North Hollywood High became the first public school to field a national champion twice.

“These teams are all participants in the after-school Beyond the Bell program, so these are students who are not doing it for school credit. These are students who stay after school, work on the weekends and compete to hone these skills and be among the most competitive and talented students in the entire United States of America,” Krekorian said.

Jay Gehringer, the coach of the North Hollywood teams, talked about how important the issue of hacking has become after the presidential election, where the Democratic National Committee had its emails released.

“This is becoming ever more important because this is a cyber cold war we are in right now,” Gehringer said. “These folks are going to help (protect) my retirement system in the future, so this is personal to me.”