Friday, June 26, 2009


    SOURCE California Academic Decathlon

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 25, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ ----LAUSD Board of Education passes resolution supporting the program while President Obama meets with the national champion team from Moorpark High School at the White House.

    President Obama honored the national champion Academic Decathlon team from Moorpark High School yesterday evening at the White House.

    "It's always a thrill," said Larry Jones, Moorpark's coach, who had met Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush after two of his team's three prior national victories, in 1999 and 2003.

    On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education also acknowledged the nine teams in the district that advanced to the California Academic Decathlon state finals in March. Cliff Ker, LAUSD Academic Decathlon Coordinator, introduced the Decathletes and their coaches to the board and to Superintendent Ramon Cortines.

    "There are few other opportunities in high school for students who share an academic pursuit to work so intensely together towards a common goal," said John Bennett, coach at Garfield High School since 1984. "Our students master massive amounts of information, all the while learning to organize their lives so that the first year of college becomes anti-climatic."

    Following his remarks and those of Brenda Guzman, a Stanford-bound Decathlete from Crenshaw High School, the Board unanimously approved a resolution, "Ensuring the Future of the Academic Decathlon," forming a task force to raise the funds needed to continue the program in the LAUSD.

    "President Obama and the Board of Education are sending an important message to students and their supporters all around the country," said Daniel Berdichevsky, a member of the nonprofit California Academic Decathlon's Board of Directors. "These kinds of educational opportunities can change lives and inspire entire communities."

    For more information on the California Academic Decathlon, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit

    About the California Academic Decathlon

    Founded in 1979, the California Academic Decathlon has brought collaborative learning opportunities to hundreds of thousands of students at over 500 schools across the state, helping them build skills necessary for success in high school, college, and beyond. Participants work with one another and with dedicated coaches to learn a diverse curriculum; they then compete regionally and statewide in ten academic events. The California Academic Decathlon is the nation's largest Academic Decathlon state organization.

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