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 Fridayafternoon. The Awards Banquet was held at the Civic Center hotel 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 team mates 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.