Saturday, April 30, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: received by email

Granada Hills Charter Captures Fifth National Academic Decathlon Title

Press are invited to the Welcome Rally on Monday, May 2, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.
School flagpole at 10535 Zelzah Ave., Granada Hills 91344
Contact: Marilyn Koziatek, Community Outreach, (323) 309-4241

April 30, 2016– Granada Hills Charter High School garnered its fifth United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) title - in six years – earlier today in Anchorage, Alaska. Granada Hills Charter scored 54,195.1 out of a possible 60,000. This award marks the end of the 2015-16 academic decathlon season in which Granada Hills Charter won all levels of competition including the city, state and national titles.

“It’s exciting to win at this level,” said Mathew Arnold, GHCHS English teacher and Academic Decathlon coach, “This win isn’t just for us. It’s a way to for the whole school to show our strength. I’m proud of our kids and feel fortunate to be a part of this team!”

The Academic Decathlon is a 10-event scholastic competition for high school students that consists of seven multiple choice tests plus a speech, interview, and essay. Granada Hills Charter captured the trophy in the fast-paced super quiz round, signaling the end of the competition on Friday afternoon. The Awards Banquet was held at the Civic Center in Anchorage and the team’s championship was announced to cheers in the packed auditorium, including all the parents of the GHCHS team.
“We are so proud of our son and his teammates for their dedication,” said Sundio Lin, father of Joshua Lin, a member of the team since 2015. “They work so hard. Seven days a week. The coaches and staff, they love our children and sacrifice so much, every year. We are grateful to see Joshua succeed like this.”

The Academic Decathlon divides the competition into three categories based on GPA: Honor (3.75-4.00), Scholastic (3.00-3.74), and Varsity (2.99 or below). Granada Hills Charter won the top individual scores in all three categories.

GHCHS also earned national USAD titles in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. This year’s winning team of students are Mark Aguila, Julian Duran, Isha Gupta, Joshua Lin, Christopher Lo, Aishah Mahmud, Melissa Santos, Mayeena Ulkarim and Jorge Zepeda. The coaches are Mathew Arnold, Jon Sturtevant, and Rachael Phipps.
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Pictures of the team are available on request.

About Granada Hills Charter High School:
Granada Hills Charter High School, the largest charter school in the nation, is an independent public school in the San Fernando Valley. A fiscally independent conversion charter school, Granada Hills Charter has a current student enrollment of approximately 4,500 and an annual student wait list of almost 3,000. The School’s student body is considered one of the most diverse, with more than 40 languages other than English spoken at home and over 60 nationalities represented. Over 2,300 students are eligible for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. As a 501c3 non-profit benefit corporation, the School’s Governing Board is the legal entity overseeing all school policy and its $50 million operating budget. In 2015, and Niche recognized GHCHS as the # 1 public high school in California and #10 public high school in the United States of America. In August 2015, Granada Hills Charter opened iGranada Digital Arts & Sciences, an innovative blended learning program, on its new Devonshire campus.

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