West High Wins 2019 LA County Academic Decathlon Competition
Torrance, CA – On Thursday, February 7, 2019, after ‘zillions’ of hours of study sessions, West High School once again won the top spot in the Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon competition as the 2019 champions! West High finished their stellar season by winning with an overall score of 54,459 out of a possible 60,000 points. They also tied as the top team in the Super Quiz portion of the competition. Setting an impressive record, West High School has qualified for the state competition for 13th straight years!
Leading the West High team to victory yet again, is Biology teacher, Ann Cortina. “This year’s team was truly special and remarkable,” commented Mrs. Cortina. “They worked together cohesively and completely supported one another.” Mrs. Cortina said this year also stood out because of the support the team received from the extended West High community. Former West High students and previous Academic Decathlon team members volunteered during their vacation time to come work with the current students and help them strengthen their skills. “Academic Decathlon is truly a labor of love for the West High community, past and present,” she remarked.
West High student, Kendall Kirio, was recognized with the noteworthy distinction of top individual scorer, receiving 9,259 points out of a possible 10,000 points. The team won an astounding 50 individual medals with each member winning a gold medal for speech. Additionally, individual achievements went to:
Kendall Kirio - 1st place winner - honors category and top scoring decathlete overall
Anoushka Gupta - 1st place winner - scholastic category and 3rd place overall winner for individual decathletes
Jeremy Gong - 2nd place winner - scholastic category
Emi Verderber - 3rd place - varsity category
Mrs. Cortina noted the ongoing support the team receives from the West High Administration, parents, the District, and grants from the Torrance Education Foundation. Additionally, she thanked her two volunteer assistant coaches, Robert Ronne, a retired attorney and former West High parent who works with the team on speech and interview skills; and Joanne Fahey, a retired West High Advanced Placement English teacher who works with the team on language literature and essay.
The other TUSD high school teams also received several individual medals and accolades and all three high schools were recognized for being in the top 20 winning LA County schools. The South High team placed 11th and earned a total score of 40,413, racking up 18 individual medals. The Torrance High team placed 14th and earned a total score of 36,137, taking home an impressive 32 individual medals. The North High team placed 15th and earned a total score of 33,063 and students were awarded 15 individual medals.
The District is so proud of the accomplishments of all our Academic Decathlon teams! We wish West High School good luck in the California state competition next month!
Articles on West High School’s Academic Decathlon win:
About Los Angeles County of Education Academic Decathlon:
The LACOE Academic Decathlon is a rigorous two-day scholastic team competition that tests the knowledge and skills of high school students who compete against other school teams for gold, silver and bronze medals. Decathletes are challenged to use analytical skills, performance abilities, and test-taking and writing aptitude in 10 events: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language & Literature, Math, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech.