They now go onto the State competition in March...
Grant High Wins Los Angeles Unified Academic Decathlon LOS ANGELES (Feb. 17, 2021) – Ulysses S. Grant High School (Grant High) in Valley Glen was announced today as the winner of Los Angeles Unified’s 40th annual Academic Decathlon, a rigorous scholastic competition that challenges students’ knowledge and skill in a variety of subjects.
The theme of this year’s decathlon is “The Cold War,” with students spending countless hours of intense study preparing for multiple-choice tests in art, economics, math, music, science and social science, as well as prepared and impromptu speeches, an interview and an essay. Due to the current health crisis, the academic tests were administered online, while the speeches and interviews were virtual.
Coached by Grant High teacher David Sanchez and former Academic Decathlete Brennan Azizi, the winning team students Yadira Castillo, Braulio Hernandez, Vivian Le, Ruben Palafox, Mary Tovanyan and Juan Valencia took first place with 48,180.3 of a possible 60,000 points. Grant High and the following high-scoring Los Angeles Unified teams will compete in the California Academic Decathlon, which will be a virtual contest held March 3-20: Van Nuys High School, which earned second-place honors with 40,316.60. points; John Marshall High School, 40,158.80 points; Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets, 38,119.60; Bell High School, last year’s Los Angeles Unified Academic Decathlon champion, 37,787.70 points; Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies Magnet, 37,169.40 points; Verdugo Hills High School, 36,422.20 points; and North Hollywood High School, 35,520.60 points.
“Congratulations decathletes, coaches and all who participated in the Academic Decathlon this year,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “‘The Cold War’ – what a rich topic. I can remember my first visit to Berlin in 1980, at the height of the Cold War. Working in Russia in the mid-’90s on behalf of the Clinton administration, helping transition that economy to a market economy. And today, we still see echoes and repercussions around the world. You have to be a polymath to do well in the Decathlon. “Congratulations on your progress, keep up the great work in school, and I wish you much, much success in your journey,” he said.