Defending champ Granada Hills wins LAUSD academic decathlon

The winner of the 2017 academic decathlon has a familiar ring: Granada Hills Charter High School, which also is the defending national champion.

District officials announced the results Friday night during a ceremony at Hollywood High.

Second place went to former national champion Marshall High in Los Feliz and third to Franklin High in Highland Park, followed by El Camino Real Charter High in Woodland Hills and Garfield High in East Los Angeles.

The students on the winning team are: Mark Aguila, Jordan Barretto, Sabrina Carlos, Sebastian Gonzalez, Christopher Lo, Kevin Ly, Aishah Mahmud, Melissa Santos and Peter Shin. They are coached by Mathew Arnold, Harsimar Dhanoa, Jonathan Sturtevant and Rachel Phipps.


The top 10 scoring teams from L.A. Unified now will compete in the California Academic Decathlon, scheduled for late March in Sacramento. The other L.A. Unified schools advancing are Grant High, Palisades Charter High, Van Nuys High, Bell High and North Hollywood High. In all, 62 teams took part.

Teams from L.A. Unified schools have claimed 17 national titles since 1987.

This year’s study topic was World War II.

The competition has 10 portions that contribute to the scoring, and all had to relate to World War II. The first day of L.A. Unified’s competition took place Jan. 28 at the Roybal Learning Center, west of downtown, with students demonstrating their skills at delivering a speech, participating in interviews and composing essays.

The Feb. 4 wrap-up competition also was held at Roybal. In the morning, students tested in eight subjects: art, economics, language and literature, math, music, science and social science. The Super Quiz, where teams submit answers to questions before a cheering throng, began in the afternoon. The Super Quiz is the only public event.

Each school team comprises nine students: three with grade-point averages of 2.99 or lower (the Varsity Division); three with GPAs of 3.00 to 3.74 (the Scholastic Division) and three with 3.75 or higher (the Honor Division).

Anrui Gu from Marshall took home the top prize in the Honor Division. Alex Munoz from Franklin was best-scoring student in the Scholastic Division. Sebastian Gonzalez from Granada Hills achieved the highest score in the Varsity Division.

Granada coach Mathew Arnold won the Coach of the Year prize.


The local decathlon competition is split into two portions, one with entrants from L.A. Unified and the other with campuses from other school systems in Los Angeles County. The latter event is organized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which announced its winner Thursday: South Pasadena High School, for the third consecutive year.

To read the article in Spanish, click here




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