CA Charter Schools Bring Home the Hardware from National Academic Decathlon, Winning 1-2

April 29, 2013

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Granada Hill Charter High School achieved a historic accomplishment by winning its third consecutive national Academic Decathlon championship, the first public school to do so. The second place team was also a Los Angeles-based charter school, El Camino Real Charter High School.

"Russia" was the theme of the the 32nd U.S. Academic Decathlon competition on Saturday, April 27. 2013 in Minneapolis, MN. The competition was tough and included the best and brightest students representing 52 schools throughout the United States along with a team from London.

A news report from KABC described the significance of this accomplishment, "Granada Hills Charter High School is the only charter school in the history of the U.S. Academic Decathlon to claim the national title and the only public school to earn that title three years in a row."

A KNBC4 story noted that "Granada Hills school -- which has three national and three state titles -- beat some 450 students from other high school academic decathlon teams across the United States."

"Both Granada Hills Charter High School and El Camino Real Charter High School reflect the high levels of academic achievement made possible by charter schools," said Jed Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Charter School Association. "Charter schools enjoy the opportunity to craft programs that enable all students to achieve great academic success."

Granada Hills Charter scored 54,652.93 points, followed by another Los Angeles area school - El Camino Real Charter High School.

"The intense, academic, two-day competition calls on students to have a broad range of knowledge in everything from math and science to art and literature," according to the Northridge Patch.

"A 'three-peat' in the local, state, and national competitions is exceptional," said Executive Director Brian Bauer following the competition. "I salute this team and their coaches for their record breaking performance, the honor they have bestowed upon Granada Hills Charter, and the charter school 'can do' spirit that they embody."

The winning Granada Hills Charter team consisted of: Jenny Baek '14, Jake Chong '14, Bea Dimaunahan '13, Faria Ghori '13, Rina Kim '13, Kailin Li '14, Kimberly Ly '13, Kelley Ma '13, and Hamidah Mahmud '13. (Ly and Mahmud were members of the 2012 city, state and national championship team.)

Students from Granada Hills and El Camino Real won individual medals in each of the ten categories: art, economics, essay, interview, literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech.

According to KPCC, "El Camino Real senior Jonathan Yih won the Reinauer Economic Prize and was named his team's most valuable member. Other members of the school's team include Jenny Chi, Ranbir Dhillon, Peter Do, Jacob Hehir, Brennan Lincoln, Melissa Ngu, Tyler Wong, and Julian Zano.

"Granada Hills senior Hamidah Mahmud won the top individual scholarship honor for large schools. Her teammates include Jae Kyung Chong Beung Woo Baek, Beatrice Dimaunahan, Faria Ghori, Dayoung Kim, Kailin Li, Kimberly Ly, and Kelley Ma. Their coaches are Matt Arnold, Spencer Wood, and Nick Webber."

CCSA congratulates the students as well as their schools and families on this remarkable achievement.

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