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Academic Decathlon


The 2020-21 Academic Decathlon & Pentathlon season was a year of firsts. We held a completely virtual competition, launched our monthly newsletter, as well as started our social media journey. As our program continues to evolve to the digital age, we hope to expand our presence in LAUSD schools.

Catch up on the most recent issues of the newsletter for a recap of this year’s competition:  

October 2020 | November 2020 | December 2020 | February 2021 | March 2021 | April 2021 | May 2021


Follow our Twitter @lausdacadeca and Instagram @lausdacadeca accounts to continue the journey with us.  

2021 Academic decathlon awards

For the 2020-21 LAUSD Academic Decathlon, we would like to congratulate all the students who participated. Your dedication to this program during uncertain times never wavered, and because of you, our program continues to be successful.

Congratulations to our winning school Grant High School, for not only being the Top-Scoring Team, but also having the Top-Scoring Individual, Yadira Castillo. Grant High School and 7 other schools will now prepare for the California Academic Decathlon at the end of March. 

                                                                                              Award Program PDF                                Awards Program Video 

                                                                                                       40th Annual Program                                           Awards Video

2020-21 LAUSD Academic Decathlon Top-Scoring Team 

Grant High School  

(Coaches: David Sanchez & Brennan Azizi, Principal: Rebecca McMurrin) 

District-Wide Top-Scoring Individual  

Yadira Castillo 

(Grant High School) 

California Academic Decathlon (CAD) Invited Teams 

Grant High School 

(Coaches: David Sanchez & Brennan Azizi, Principal: Rebecca McMurrin) 

Van Nuys Senior High School 

(Coach: Jono Mitchell, Principal: Yolanda Gardea) 

Marshall High School 

(Coaches: Daniel Badiak & Mike Jones, Principal: Gary Garcia) 

Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet  

(Coach: Patricia Prokopidis, Principal: Janet Mack) 

Bell High School 

(Coaches: Heather Wilson & Matthew Moreno, Principal: Rafael Balderas) 

Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies 

(Coach: Suzanna Gordon, Principal: Katie McGrath) 

Verdugo Hills High School 

(Coach: Evae Silva, Principal: Arturo Barcenas) 

North Hollywood High School 

(Coach: Raul Barragan, Principal: Ricardo Rosales) 

Larry McCormick Memorial Award  

Yadira Castillo  

(Grant High School, Coaches: David Sanchez & Brennan Azizi, Principal: Rebecca McMurrin) 

Nancy Trinh  

(Lincoln High School, Coach: Winnie Kwan, Principal: Rose Ann Ruiz) 

Al Perez Memorial Award  

Reseda Charter High School  

(Coach: Scott Mercer, Principal: Melanie Walsh) 

Dr. Robert Peterson Most Improved Team Award  

Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies  

(Coach: Suzanna Gordon, Principal: Katie McGrath) 

Coach of the Year 

Mike Gross  

(Northridge Academy High School) 

Administrators of the Year 

Nidia Castro  

(Principal, Northridge Academy High School) 

Robert Clarke  

(Principal, Lake Balboa College Prep) 


Visit the LAUSD ACADECA Twitter @lausdacadeca and Instagram @lausdacadeca accounts to find pictures of this year’s competition and stay up to date.

interested in joining

It is never too early to enter the 2021-2022 Academic Decathlon as the Interest to Participate form is now available for schools to join next year’s competition.

Next year’s topic was just announced as Water: A Most Essential Resource. Signing up early allows schools to plan ahead their budgeting for instructional materials and staffing, recruit students and coaches, as well as determine meeting times.

For students and parents who would like to sign up for the Academic Decathlon team at your school, please fill out the Student Sign-Up Form.

Water: A Most Essental Resource

2020-21 KEY DATES (Draft)





Tuesday, September 21, 2021
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Kick-off Coaches Meeting – Online


Friday, September 24, 2021

DUE: Intent to Participate


Saturday, October 30, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.



Saturday, November 18, 2021

DUE: Team Registration Documents


Friday, January 14, 2022
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

LAUSD Online Essay


Saturday, January 29, 2022
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

LAUSD Competition – Interview, Speech


Saturday, February 5, 2022
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

LAUSD Competition – Online Objective Tests & Super Quiz


Saturday, February 12, 2022
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

LAUSD Awards Ceremony


March 5, 2022

CAD Virtual State Competition – Essay and Objectives


March 12, 2022

CAD Virtual State Competition – Speech and Interview


April 21–23, 2022

USAD National Competition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania





Luis Mora | Enrichment Programs Administrator | Beyond the Bell | LAUSD | 213-241-7900