Friday, February 10, 2012


The four highest scores in the nation are from LAUSD: Granada Hills, Marshall, El Camino Real + Franklin

By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times |

West High wins L.A. County regional academic decathlon contest

West High's coach, Ann Cortina, hugs student Vidya Premkumar. The team from Torrance won the Los Angeles County regional academic decathlon for the fourth year in a row. (Katie Falkenberg / For the Los Angeles Times / February 9, 2012)

February 10, 2012  ::  Granada Hills Charter High School, last year's national Academic Decathlon champion, and West High School in Torrance, another perennial top team, were named the winners Thursday in Los Angeles' regional decathlon competitions.

Granada Hills, which won Los Angeles Unified its 12th national title in North Carolina last year, took the top place out of the 63 teams that competed in the school district's regional competition. Scoring 51,913 points out of 60,000, the school had one of the highest scores among the nation's regional-level competitions.

West High School — for the fourth time — claimed the highest score (45,132 points) in the regional competition for the rest of Los Angeles County's public schools, which was sponsored by the county's Office of Education.

The results were announced at separate awards ceremonies Thursday.

Aside from the winners from each competition, almost two dozen other public schools from Los Angeles County have been invited to take part in the state competition in Sacramento next month.

Joining Granada Hills from L.A. Unified will be a number of consistent top performers — and former national winners — including Marshall High School (49,648 points), El Camino Real Charter High (48,649), Franklin (47,812) and Taft (43,074). Also heading to Sacramento will be Van Nuys (40,1771), Palisades Charter (40,837), Hamilton (40,760), Garfield (40,382), Bell (39,821), Los Angeles (39,690) and San Pedro (37,626).

The top four scores, organizers said, were the top four regional scores in the country.

"It just speaks to how competitive it is in Los Angeles," said Spencer Wolf, a Granada Hills coach. "We all push each other."

The top two individual scorers came from Granada Hills: Sean Wejebe scored 9,199 points and Julia Wall, 8,622. Min-Sun Jun of Marshall had the third highest score, with 8,653 points.

Granada Hills returned with an all new team, but the competitors say they don't feel pressure to keep up the pace with their predecessors.

"We're a different team," said Priscilla Liu, a senior, "with our own goals and our own aspirations."

Hamidah Mahmud, a junior, said they've learned to take each test and each competition in stride.

"We're not held down by what we did in the past," she said. "We're always moving forward."

Los Angeles Unified has historically been the best-performing school district in the country in the competition, winning more national titles than any other. The decathlon includes tests in math, science, literature, music and art.

From the Los Angeles County competition, the teams going to the state competition are Redondo Union High School (42,317), Beverly Hills (41,684), Arcadia (39,408), Burbank (39,347), Palos Verdes Peninsula (39,282), El Rancho in Pico Rivera (38,690), South High in Torrance (38,092), and Torrance (37,726).

In the county competition, the top individual scorers were David Wang, a Palos Verdes Peninsula senior, with 8,357 points; Lisa Beckman, a West High School senior, with 8,273 points; and Luke Murphy, a Redondo Union sophomore, with 8,168.

Granada Hills 51,913
Marshall 49,648
El Camino Real 48,649
Franklin 47,812
West High School 45,132
Taft 43,074
Redondo Union High School 42,317
Van Nuys 41,771
Beverly Hills 41,684
Palisades 40,837
Hamiliton 40,760
Garfield 40,382
Bell 39,821
Los Angeles 39,690
Arcadia 39,408
Burbank 39,347
Palos Verdes Peninsula 39,282
El Rancho (Pico Rivera) 38,690
South High (Torrance) 38,092
Torrance 37,726
San Pedro 37,626
congratulations to all!   data LATimes chart 4LAKids

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