Crenshaw and Dorsey led local high schools in posting noteworthy performances at the Los Angeles Unified School District Academic Decathlon competition held over two weekends–Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.

Crenshaw was honored as the most improved team, and finished in ninth place overall, just two spots shy of being included as a wild card team to compete in the state competition.
The team’s showing this year topped the 2007 score by 18,200 points and catapulted the team from 54th place into a top 10 finish.

“I’m so happy for the kids,” said Jeff Goldberg, Crenshaw high’s academic decathlon coach. “They did an amazing amount of work, and I’m really proud of them. I’m proud to be associated with the kids who worked really hard to get here, and to come in ninth place is really cool.”

Sheilah Sanders, principal at Crenshaw hopes the honor will be the beginning of something new, and George Bartleson, principal at Dorsey added, “Maybe this (recognition) will begin to turn things around and inspire more students next year.”

In addition to a good team showing, a number of students also fared very well individually.

In the overall conference results, Joshua Frost of Crenshaw was the top scorer in the Conference two Honor Division (students with a 3.75 grade point average and above) while his team mates Daniel Turner and Leandro Ty finished second and third respectively in the Scholastic Division (3.00-3.74 GPA). In the Varsity Division, several Cougars–Eric Redd and Victor Sandoval–placed second and third respectively. This division is for students with a 2.99 GPA and below
In the Super Quiz, Sandoval also scored a perfect 1,000 as did his fellow students Dyanna Perez of Los Angeles High, Salvador Rodriquez from King-Drew Medical Magnet and Dale Alexander of Dorsey High.

Alexander’s score was just one of the highlights for Dorsey, which was the 2007 most improved school. The Dons finished in 17 place for 2008; the same spot they held last year.

Other area schools that made a strong showing included Los Angeles High School, which finished eighth over all; Manual Arts, 19; L.A.C.E.S., 25th; Hamilton, 27th; King-Drew Medical Magnet, 35th; Gardena High School, 40th, Foshay Learning Center, 42; Fremont, 44th Jefferson, 52nd; Westchester, 53rd; Washington Prep, 56; Locke, 59th; USC MaST, 60th; and Jordan, 62nd.

Individual honors also went to Salvador Rodriquez of King-Drew Medical Magnet, who placed first in his conference in the Scholastic Division, and David Turkell of L.A.C.E.S. who took top honors in the Varsity Division in his conference.

Several Washington High School students were also honored for academic achievement. Christian Williams and Aislyn Namanga were both awarded the California Academic Decathlon Regional Varsity Scholarships by the California Academic Decathlon and the College Access Foundation. The awards are worth $2,100 each and will be forwarded to the colleges in which the two seniors enroll in Fall 2008.