Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies is headed to the California Academic Decathlon in Santa Clara next month after winning the top prize during the 42nd Annual Los Angeles Unified School District Academic Decathlon.

The nine-member Sherman Oaks team earned 37,165.2 out of 60,000 points and was presented Saturday with the Superintendent’s Trophy.

The team consists of Nathan Ark, Khusanjon Bobokhojaev, Cristian Claiborne, Galgamuge De Silva, Eva Karamanoukian, Sara Kovalev-Sheinberg, David Olvera, Barbara Ortiz and Jaylen Patel.

Van Nuys High School earned second-place honors with 36,545.8 points.

LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho congratulated the decathletes and acknowledged their hard work.

“Since August 2022, our students have dedicated countless hours before and after school to prepare for this competition,” Carvalho said. “Their perseverance and passion for academic achievement is inspiring. Thank you to every single coach, family member, employee and friend who supported our decathletes along the way. Good luck in the state championship.”

Of the 50 schools that competed during the LAUSD Academic Decathlon on Feb. 4, five will go on to the statewide competition March 24-26.

This year’s Super Quiz topic is “The American Revolution and the New Nation.”

Joining Sherman Oaks in the state competition will be the teams from Verdugo Hills High School with 36,215.3 points, Bell High School with 35,958.6 points, James A. Garfield High School with 34,235.9 points and John Marshall High School with 33,766.5 points.

Over the years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has won 23 state titles — more than any California district — and 19 national titles.

In addition to the team awards presented Saturday, the top students who earned the highest scores during the LAUSD competition were honored with scholarships, individual medals and trophies.

Those winners were:

— David Olvera from SOCES, who took home the Super Decathlete trophy for the overall highest scoring student with a grade-point average of 3.8 and above and a total of 8,588.2 out of 10,000 points.

— Momoko Nakazawa from John Marshall High School, who was honored as the overall second highest-scoring student with a grade-point average of 3.8 and above and a total of 7,851.3 points.

— Mathias Kuchimpos from Van Nuys High School, who was recognized as the overall third highest-scoring student with a grade-point average of 3.8 and above and 7,802.5 points.

The Coach of the Year was Suzanna Gordon, an English teacher and former student at SOCES.

With sub-normal temperatures and high natural gas heating prices, Southern California residents might be tempted to use space heaters, so the Orange County Fire Authority Sunday offered some safety tips.

The agency warned that space heaters cause 85% of all home heating fire deaths.

Space heaters should be plugged directly into wall outlets and unplugged when not in use, fire officials said. Turn space heaters off before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Anything that could burn should be at least three feet away from all heat sources, officials said.

People also use fireplaces to warm rooms when the temperatures fall and the fire officials remind them to open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and to keep it open until the ashes are cool. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions if a wood stove is used to heat the home.

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