Bell High School has won the 2020 Academic Decathlon for the Los Angeles Unified School District, a first for the team from the working class and immigrant-rich community in southeast Los Angeles County.
District officials announced Bell’s victory Saturday at Hollywood High School, a week after the school finished first in one of the final phases of the competition, the Super Quiz.
The nine-member team beat second-place Grant High of Van Nuys and third-place Marshall High of Los Feliz.
Diego Mora led Bell by winning medals in five categories—math, art, speech, essay and interview. Three other Bell students — Gilbert Castro, Armando Aguilar and Isabelle Torres — won medals in four categories each. Other team members were Rubi Espinoza, Cindy Soto, Danny Arteaga, Emanuel Perez and Andrew Vargas.
Congratulations to Bell HS winner of the 39th annual LAUSD Academic Decathlon!! The Bell High School decathletes are: Gilbert Castro, Rubi Espinoza, Cindy Soto, Armando Aguilar, Danny Arteaga, Emanuel Perez, Diego Mora, Isabelle Torres and Andrew Vargas. pic.twitter.com/Ayh0qk6cNx— L.A. Unified (@LASchools) February 9, 2020
Senior Ben Bryant of Marshall took home the trophy as the high point winner in the competition, an honor he also won last year.
Bell came out on top of 55 teams in the competition, which focused on the topic, In Sickness and in Health: An Exploration of Illness and Wellness.
Top teams move on to the state Academic Decathlon in Sacramento from March 26 to March 29.