Granada Hills Charter captured its third straight national academic decathlon title earlier today in Minneapolis.


This year’s field was extremely competitive with the two top teams hailing from the Los Angeles area. This year’s top competitors included El Camino Real Charter High School, Rockwall High School in Texas, Willoughby South High School in Ohio, and Whitney Young High School in Illinois. Granada Hills Charter earned 54,652.93 while second place El Camino Real Charter High School trailed by approximately 1000 points.

Granada Hills Charter Decathletes are Jenny Baek ’14, Jake Chong ’14, Bea Dimaunahan ’13, Faria Ghori ’13, Rina Kim ’13, Kailin Li ’14, Kimberly Ly ’13, Kelley Ma ’13, and Hamidah Mahmud ’13. (Ly and Mahmud were members of the 2012 city, state and national championship team.) Their coaches are Mathew Arnold, Spencer Wolf and Nick Weber.

Academic Decathlon is a grueling two-day competition that tests participants on a range of topics from math and science to art and literature in all kinds of formats. There are multiple choice, fast-paced trivia questions, essays, speeches and interview competitions. The teams, comprised of three “A” students, three “B” students and three “C” students, spend hours studying and preparing for the competition. This year’s theme was “Russia.”

“A ‘three-peat’ in the local, state, and national competitions is exceptional!” said Executive Director Brian Bauer. “I salute this team and their coaches for their record breaking performance, the honor they have bestowed upon Granada Hills Charter, and the charter school ‘can do’ spirit that they embody.”

As the reigning three-time National Academic Decathlon champions, Granada Hills Charter remains the only charter school in the almost 35-year history of the National Academic Decathlon competition to claim the national title and the only public school, traditional or charter, to capture the national title three years in a row.

The decathletes, their coaches, and administrator Julia Howelman return to Granada Hills Charter Monday, April 29 at 7:45 AM for a celebratory “welcome back” in the school quad. We will continue throughout the weekend to update team and individual score results.