Granada Hills Charter High School. Photo via Wikipedia
Granada Hills Charter High School. Photo via Wikipedia

Granada Hills Charter High School has won the 2017 U.S. Academic Decathlon in Madison, Wisconsin, school officials announced Saturday.

It is the school’s third consecutive Academic Decathlon title and sixth in the last seven years.

Granada Hills speech and debate teacher Rachael Phipps, who coaches the team, said the students “have formed a true team bond. They work with this intensity because they want to do their best for the person sitting next to them. They refuse to let each other down.”

The 10-event competition ran Thursday through Saturday and included seven subjects: science, literature, art, music, social science, economics and math. The contest culminated with a fast-paced Super Quiz relay, for which this year’s topic was World War II.

The winning team was announced Saturday in front of a live audience. Granada Hills claimed the top individual scores in all three divisions of the competition and beat out more than 500 other teams representing high schools from the United States, Canada, China and the United Kingdom.

The school had earlier won city and state titles to earn its trip to Wisconsin.

The nine students who made up this year’s championship team are Mark Aguila, Jordan Barretto, Sabrina Carlos, Sebastian Gonzalez, Christopher Lo, Kevin Ly, Aishah Mahmud, Melissa Santos and Peter Shin. Coaches were Phipps, Harsimar Dhanoa and Jonathan Sturtevant.

“These students have made history,” said Los Angeles Unified School District board member Scott M. Schmerelson, whose district includes Granada Hills. “Congratulations to each of them for another stellar performance and for brilliantly representing L.A. Unified.”

A California school has now won the U.S. title 15 years in a row, and LAUSD schools have won 18 national titles since 1986.

A victory rally is planned for Monday at 8 a.m. at the school flagpole at 10535 Zelzah Ave.

—City News Service

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