By Carolyn Cho
Many students attending Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) are already aware of how successful our school’s academic decathlon team (ACADECA) is. However, this year the team went even further, breaking their own record from the 2012 Academic Decathlon Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Regional Competition.
Placing first at the competition, GHCHS Academic team raised the bar by setting the highest score ever at the Academic Decathlon LAUSD Regional Competition.
The team competed on January 3 for the Subjectives, comprised of a speech and interview, and also on February 7, for their 7-part exam and Super Quiz. On the individual level, senior Irene Lee, tied for the highest individual score at this competition, scoring 9,461.4 out of the maximum 10,000 points.
Although the team strives for the best every year, this year the team attributes its record-breaking success to its supportive and harmonious team.
Senior Fernando Sanchez explained how each member on the team specializes in a certain area and can help other members with that specific area.
“I was strong in math, so I taught Jasmin math. Jasmin was strong in music, [so] she taught me music theory,” Sanchez said.
With this strong support system, each member gained help from their fellow members to create a well-balanced team, knowledgeable in every area.
Lee, who tied for the highest individual score, also highlighted the importance of self-motivation and persistence.
“The key was ignoring all distractions and maintaining a passion for Decathlon. That focus and desire to never let my team down really pushed me everyday and helped achieve this score,” Lee said.
The team’s coach, English teacher Mathew Arnold, also noted the strong sense of sportsmanship in this year’s team. He explained how this year’s team has the perfect chemistry and how well they help and learn from one another.
The team has been preparing vigorously for the upcoming state competition on March 19. This time, only the top scoring school will be able to move forward to Nationals, which will be held on April 16 through 18 in Garden Grove, California.