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El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills wins National Academic Decathlon

El Camino Real High School of Woodland Hills won the National Academic Decathlon for the sixth time Saturday, setting a new record for the school with the most wins.

The California team was considered a favorite to win coming into the competition, which tests student’s strengths in an array of academic subjects, but it faced challenges from strong teams from Arizona, Illinois and Wisconsin.

After two days of rigorous testing, El Camino Real came out on top. The nine-member team earned 49,951.7 points out of a possible 60,000.

When their victory was announced at the awards banquet in Omaha, where the competition was held, the team's students and coaches embraced in one big hug. Cheeks dampened with happy tears, they ran to the stage to collect their trophies. 

El Camino Real won the national championship in 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001 and 1998, but this was the first title for the current team's  students and coaches, math teacher John Dalsass and English teacher Stephanie Franklin.

“This is just spooky weird,” Franklin said, laughing. 

El Camino Real earned the state title at the California Academic Decathlon in March with a score of 50,590 out of 60,000.  In Omaha this week, they competed against more than 300 high school kids from across the country.

Members of the winning team include Vivian Cheng, Daniel de Haas, Evan Edmisten, Andrew Fann, Audrey Goldbaum, Jessica Lin, Daniel Moreh, Adriana Ureche, and Michael Walker.

The win marked California's eighth consecutive national title.

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo: El Camino Real High School Academic Decathlon team members celebrate moments after it was announced that they had won the state championship held in Sacramento last month. Credit: Robert Durell / For The Times

Comments () | Archives (7)

Congratulations to all.........

Wh00t!! Well done, ECR!

Congratulations El Camino Real students and staff.

Cool! As an alumni, Im proud of my school. I'm glad ECR is still showing that we have some great quality students in LAUSD.

Congratulations, ECR. Once again you have demonstrated that there is nothing wrong with most of California's traditional high schools. While ECR is a consistent winner, at the statewide academic decathlon in March many of the state's public senior highs offered strong competition.

When the nay-sayers trash our public schools they ignore the fact that there are El Caminos all over the state. Public education thrives in suburbia, where the population has a deep commitment to education. The parents - whether Republicans, Democrats or Independents - give strong support to their schools. In suburbia, conservatives and liberals join together to make sure that their kids get a first-rate education.

The critics, however, look at the miserable test scores and graduation rates in the inner cities and from that tell us "Our schools are failing." No, public education in California is not failing. Poverty, non-English speaking parents, a lack of family commitment to formal education and all the other distractions that go with living in the inner city account for the "failure" of education in parts of Los Angeles. The same factors explain the low test scores in rural areas inhabited by large numbers of immigrant workers and their families.

It's time for those who support our traditional schools to speak up. Give a cheer for ECR. Although it stands above its fellow public high schools, it is but the best of an outstanding academic system.

Congratulations El Camino Real, once again you conquered the nation.

So how will the teacher-bashers fit this into their narratives? Hmmmm


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