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Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 02:31

Granada Hills Charter High School Wins Again 2012 U.S. Academic Decathlon


LOS ANGELES - For the second year in a row, Granada Hills Charter High School students have earned the right to call themselves the U.S. Academic Decathlon champions.

Granada Hills Charter High School's academic decathlon team, representing the state of California, won the 2012 U.S. Academic Decathlon competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday, April 30. The win earned the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) its 13th national title.

The nine-member team scored 54,081 points out of 60,000 possible, beating 33 other high school academic decathlon teams across the U.S. in this year's rigorous scholastic battle. The score was the highest ever recorded in the history of the U.S. Academic Decathlon. The team also earned first place honors in the "Super Quiz" contest. Granada Hills Charter High School tied for first place with Whitney Young Magnet from Illinois.

Superintendent John Deasy attended the Super Quiz event and marveled at how well the students excelled.

"Congratulations to Granada Hills Charter High School's academic decathlon team and coaches on capturing the national title," Deasy said.

"Their incredible commitment, discipline, and hard work have resulted in another decathlon win for LAUSD." " I ' m extremely proud of the students and coaches of Granada Hills Decathlon team for their outstanding victory in the 2012 National Academic Decathlon competition," added Los Angeles Board Member Tamar Galatzan, whose district includes the school.

Members of Granada Hills' winning team are Lev Tauz, Sean Wejebe, Hamidah Mahmud, Christian Koguchi, Priscilla Liu, Kimberly Ly, Jimmy Wu, Stella Lee, and Julia Wall. Matt Arnold, Nick Weber and Spencer Wolf are the coaches.

Top-scoring students were honored with individual medals and trophies for academic achievement at an awards ceremony held in Albuquerque where the winning team was announced.

Four of the students scored exceedingly well. Wejebe - 9,441 points, Tauz, totaled 9,430, Hamidah Mahmud scored 9,041 points and Wu scored the highest with 9,182.

"I'm speechless," said Cliff Kerr, Coordinator of the Academic Decathlon team. "This is the most phenomenal performance by any academic decathlon school that I've ever seen in my life."

"It was a great competition."

In February, the Granada Hills won the 2012 LAUSD Academic competition and secured first place honors at the 2012 California Academic Decathlon contest, earning them a trip to the national competition.

Over the years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has emerged as an academic decathlon powerhouse, with several of its high school teams consistently winning local, state and national titles. Currently, LAUSD boasts more championships--13--than any other school district in the country.

The academic decathlon is a team competition wherein students battle their intellectual skills with students from other schools. They are tested in 10 categories: art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. This year's study subject: "The Age of Empire."