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Granada Hills Charter High wins Calif. Academic Decathlon

Franklin High School AcaDeca coach Sam Cullens works with two of his decathletes.
Franklin High School AcaDeca coach Sam Cullens works with two of his decathletes.
Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Granada Hills Charter High School won the 2012 California Academic Decathlon for the second year in a row this weekend beating out 64 other high school teams to claim a spot in the national competition.

The nine-member team won the competition with an overall 52,327.4 points out of 60,000. The team's members include: Lev Tauz, Sean Wejebe, Hamidah Mahmuch, Christian Koguchi, Priscilla Liu, Kimberly Ly, Jimmy Wu, Stella Lee, and Julia Wall.

They will now go on to represent California in the U.S. Academic Decathlon scheduled April 25-28 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"We are very proud of all the Decathletes," said Cliff Ker, who coordinates Academic Decathlon for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

A total of 566 students representing 65 high school teams from across California competed in the contest last weekend in Sacramento. The competition includes tests in a range of subjects, including math, science, music, language and literature, economics and arts. There is also an essay, speeches and interviews, plus a "Super Quiz Relay."

El Camino Real High School received the Large School title with 51,279.7 and St. Francis High School received the Medium School title with 38,987.9 points. Both can go on to compete in the national online competition in April.

L.A. Unified, an Academic Decathlon powerhouse, dominated Division I, which is made up of the top 20 highest scoring teams. Granada Hills came in first, El Camino Real Charter High School second (51,279.7), and Marshall High third (49,203.0).

In Super Quiz, Granada Hills finished first with 5,585 points out of 6,000. Franklin High finished second with 5,300 points and Marshall High third with 5,225 points.

Since 1987, the LAUSD has won 17 state contests and 12 national titles — more championships than any other school district in the country. However, this is also likely to be the last LAUSD show of force in the competition, as the school board recently approved a budget plan that will eliminate its funding for the Academic Decathlon program.

Top 5 LAUSD Scoring Teams

#1 Granada Hills Charter HS

#2 El Camino Real Charter HS

#3 Marshall HS

#4 Franklin HS

#5 Taft HS

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).