El Camino Real Charter High School wins national academic decathlon


El Camino Real Charter High School claimed the national 2014 Academic Decathlon title on Saturday, marking the seventh time the Woodland Hills school has won the honor.

The school earned 52,601.1 points out of a possible 60,000 and beat out 52 other teams for the title. Granada Hills Charter High School finished second, about 200 points behind El Camino, a difference of about 10 questions.

El Camino also narrowly edged Granada Hills in the California competition in March. The title is L.A. Unified’s 15th national championship. California schools have now won the last dozen U.S. titles and 16 out of the last 19.


“The decathlon demands an incredible commitment by the students, coaches and their families, and I congratulate them all on this record-setting achievement,” said Los Angeles Board of Education member Tamar Galatzan.

The Academic Decathlon pitted nine-member teams against each other in 10 subjects, including math, science, and literature. They also participated in a Super Quiz, a relay in which pupils have several seconds answer multiple choice questions, although those points did not count toward the team’s overall score at the national level. Each team was made up of students with varying grade point averages.

This year’s study topic was World War I and the two-day competition took place in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nearly 470 students participated.

El Camino’s team of Justin Chau, Neelem Sheikh, Thasneem Syed, Melissa Cheng, Sandra Vadhin, Eric Yun, Jose Apolaya, Rohan Boone and Brandon Slater spent months preparing for the event.


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