April 30, 2011: Less than an hour ago it was announced in Charlotte, North Carolina that Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) took first place in the National Academic Decathlon competition in a crowded field that included past national champions J. Frank Dobie High School (Texas) and Waukesha High School (Wisconsin).
The GHCHS team earned 52,113.5 points, 1750 points more than the 2nd place team. A breakdown of school scores and medals will be available this weekend on the GHCHS website.
Not only is this the first National Academic Decathlon title for GHCHS, it is their first-ever trip to the national competition.
"I am so proud of our GHCHS decathletes and their coaches for their first national title," said Executive Director Brian Bauer. "The GHCHS community is ecstatic about this amazing feat and honored to be represented by such an outstanding group of young people. We look forward to their triumphant return to campus."
California Charter Schools Association President and CEO Jed Wallace offered congratulations to "the students, coaches, teachers, administrators, and parents for their hard work and continued commitment to excellence in education."
"Capturing the National Decathlon Championship is no easy feat, and it is a true reflection of the type of high-quality education that charters like Granada Hills are offering families across California," said Wallace. "Granada Hills Charter High is a true example to follow, and we are very proud of the hard work of these exemplary students."
The winning team includes 12th graders Austin Kang, Harsimar Dhanoa, Elysia Eastty, Joon Lee, Shagun Goyal, Riki Higashida, Eugene Lee, Sindhura Seeni and 10th grader Celine Ta. The team is coached by Matt Arnold, Nick Weber, and Spencer Wolf.
The decathletes, their coaches, and administrator Julia Howelman will return to GHCHS Monday at 7:45am to a celebratory "welcome back" at the school entrance, followed by a team and parent breakfast.
CCSA will be profiling Granada Hills Charter High School in a "School Spotlight" in conjunction with National Charter Schools week. Visit our blog on Thursday, May 5, for more.