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Golden Valley Excels in Academic Contest

Posted: February 19, 2008 6:26 p.m.
Updated: April 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.
In only its third year to compete, Golden Valley High School placed sixth out of 63 teams in the Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon, taking third place in the game show-style Super Quiz event.

"I'm thrilled with the results. For a third-year team, we did really well," said Golden Valley Decathlon Coach Dana Bobek. "It's the best Golden Valley has ever done, so we're thrilled with that and with the individual medals as well."

In addition to meeting for class with Bobek for first period, the decathlon team members also got together at each other's homes as the competition neared, cramming as much information about the American Civil War - this year's topic - into their heads as possible.

"They are now experts on the Civil War," Bobek said. "A lot of the students were learning about the Civil War in their AP History class, so that worked out well."

Team member Mahalia Knight performed so well at the competition that she was selected for a special honor. The Golden Valley senior was one of nine students out of hundreds of contestants chosen for the Governor's All Star Team.

"She will be going to Sacramento in a few weeks with the other honorees to have dinner with Governor Schwarzenegger," Bobek said. "Mahalia was the high scorer on our team, and she took a gold medal in our division, so she did really well,"

The team has been preparing for the competition since spring of 2007.

"That's when the new topics are announced, so we just jump on it as soon as we can," Bobek said. "It's a year-long effort."

With three underclassmen on the team, Bobek said the students are already looking forward to finding out next year's topic and getting started.

"It wasn't just the seniors who went far. In fact, a sophomore and a junior won golds in their division, and those kids will be back next year," she said. "Next year, they really want to make it to state."


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