Edison High School, which has collected 18 Fresno County Academic Decathlon championships over the years, was the top-scoring school in the central San Joaquin Valley and placed 16th overall at the state championship competition last weekend in Sacramento.
Edison, which was runner-up to University High in the Fresno County Academic Decathlon in February, posted a score of 44,726.9 points in the state competition. The state champion was Granada Hills Charter High School of Los Angeles Unified, which posted a score of 55,211.0 and will defend its national championship April 17-23 in Madison, Wisconsin.
University, which posted a score of 41,669.6, will not be defending its small school national championship. The small schools winner was St. Helena High School of Napa, which had 42,176.0 points.
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In addition to St. Helena, two other California schools will vie in the online national competition: El Camino Real Charter High School of Los Angeles Unified (large schools) and Edgewood High School of Los Angeles County (medium schools).
Lemoore Middle College High School, the Kings County Academic Decathlon champion, posted a score of 41,376.80; Yosemite High School of Madera Unified, 30,726.6 points and Granite Hills High School of Porterville in Tulare County, 30,462.0 points.
In all, 581 students representing 67 high school teams competed in the state Academic Decathlon. This year’s theme was World War II.
Andrew Garcia of Edison High was the top scorer among the Division 2 varsity competitors. The schools competed in one of three divisions based on their regional scores. Each team is composed of nine students or fewer: Those with grade-point averages of 3.75 and above (honors), 3.0 to 3.74 (scholastic) and 2.99 or lower (varsity).
Students competed in 10 decathlon categories and then the Super Quiz, which was marred this year by controversy. Scores from the competition’s only public event, which is presented like a pep rally/game show, were thrown out after the state director learned that the Super Quiz questions and answers were used in Alaska’s competition several weeks ago and had been recorded and posted on YouTube.