Granada Hills Charter High School is bringing out the bagpipes Monday to celebrate another national title in the Academic Decathlon.
The San Fernando Valley school is planning a big victory rally before classes Monday after the school won its seventh national championship over the weekend in Bloomington, Minnesota. The nine-member team of students and its coaches will be honored at the school flagpole at 8 a-m.
School officials said the rally will feature “multiple live performances including cheerleaders, bagpipers and special guests.”
“We’re so excited for our team and thrilled that they competed so hard and with such dedication,” said Julia Howelman, administrative director of instruction, who supervises and supports the team and coaches. “But what is much more important and much more rewarding is seeing these students rally around each other, support each other through the tough times, not just the victories, and mature and grow as inquisitive young people.”
The team’s members are Connie Chen, Tamara Cruz, Nicole Dersahakian, Lelija Kazlauskas, Dilawar Khan, Ben LaFreniere, Kenny Ly, Jared Matsubayashi, Ezhan Mirza, and alternates Dwaipayan Chanda, Isabel Mercado and Jasdeep Sidhu.
The coaches are Alina Lee, Linda Kang and Amy Contreras.
The three students on the varsity team — Cruz, LaFreniere and Mirza — won college scholarships for their highest group score, according to Granada Hills Charter officials. Khan, Ly and Kazlauskas won scholarships for their highest individual scores. Matsubayashi won the highest combined speech and interview score.
“On behalf of the Granada Hills Charter community, I want to congratulate our 2019 national champions,” added the school’s executive director, Brian Bauer. “Their dedication, determination and discipline are wonderful reflections of the education and environment for learning we strive each day to create at Granada Hills Charter. We all are very proud of them and hope the memories they have made are everlasting and inspire them, whether they are returning GHC students or move on to the next exciting stage of their lives.”
The team won its seventh state title in the last nine years in March at the 2019 California Academic Decathlon in Sacramento.
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