Team repeats as champions, secures record ninth U.S. victory
LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Granada Hills Charter (GHC) today captured its record ninth U.S. Academic Decathlon, repeating as national titlists in a competition that focused on a topic very familiar to the team: water.
The team scored 52,383.2 points to claim the title, with the highest-scoring students in their division being: Zainab Al-Atya, Colby Sapera, Lily Fairbank-Bermejo. Like the California Academic Decathlon held in March, the National competition took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our whole team is thrilled to carry on Granada’s winning tradition,” said Head Coach Tyler Lee. “They deserve it after working hard all year and demonstrating real determination and dedication. Today’s win is a great accomplishment, but I always tell our team that what’s really important is they all learned a lot – about the subject, about how to handle adversity, about how to work as a team, and about themselves.”
The School’s nine-member team includes Zainab Al-Atya, Lily Fairbank-Bermejo, Vivian Le, Anthony Mercado (alternate), Vanessa Miller, Elyssa Nguyen (alternate), Kira Pospeshil, Matthew Salcedo, Colby Sapera, Garrett Scott, and Mason Wong. The team was led by Head Coach, Tyler Lee and Assistant Coach, Amy Contreras.
“I’m very excited, very proud of all my teammates. We worked really hard all year,” said Lily Fairbank-Bermejo. “It’s great to see the success that comes from all the hard work that we put in come to fruition. That we were learning about water, which is such a critical resource for us in California, made it that much more relevant to us all. I know we’ll all remember our time on the team for the rest of our lives and take the lessons we’ve learned with us.”
The theme for this year’s competition is one familiar to all students in California – Water: A Most Essential Resource.
The Academic Decathlon involves 10 events revolving around a central topic in seven subject areas: science, literature, art, music, social science, economics, and mathematics. The competition includes multiple-choice exams in each subject, as well as essays and speeches. It culminates with a fast-paced Super Quiz relay. As part of the competition, each school enters a field of students from the following GPA categories, – “A” students (honors), – “B” students (scholastic), and – “C or below” (varsity).
“All of us at GHC are so proud of the team and so impressed by the commitment they have shown to each other and to reaching their collective goal,” said Brian Bauer, GHC’s Executive Director. “They spend long hours preparing for the competitions and they sacrifice their time for something bigger than themselves, and that should be applauded. On behalf of all of us at GHC, I wish them a huge congratulations!”
The National Academic Decathlon was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. GHC also won in 2021. The 2022-23 competition will focus on “The American Revolution and the New Nation.”
ABOUT GRANADA HILLS CHARTER: Named by the California Department of Education (CDE) as a California Distinguished School based on its outstanding student outcomes, Granada Hills Charter (GHC) is the largest public charter school in the nation and is located in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County. As a fiscally independent conversion charter, the School has a student enrollment of more than 5,800 walking the breezeways on two sites, the Zelzah high school campus and the Devonshire TK-8 campus. Serving students in grades transitional kindergarten through 12 (TK-12), the School has an annual waitlist of 4,000+ hopeful students seeking the excellent and diverse curricular, extracurricular, and athletic opportunities of a vibrant comprehensive school. GHC’s student population is one of the most diverse, with more than 40 languages other than English spoken at home and over 60 nationalities represented. Nearly 50% of 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 $60 million operating budget. GHC is ranked “#1 Best Public Elementary School in California,” “#1 Best Charter Middle School in California” and “#1 Best Charter High School in Los Angeles County” by Niche.com in the 2021 Best Schools rankings.
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SOURCE Granada Hills Charter