SOUTHEAST AREA — Several Southeast-area high school students won top prizes for individuals in the annual Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon, a competition in which high schools field teams of students to compete against other teams.
Honors are awarded to both high-scoring teams and individual competitors.
No area school claimed a top team prize, but two Norwalk high schools, Norwalk and Glenn, were among five in the county that improved their scores the most.
Seniors and juniors from 67 high schools competed in 10 categories, from economics to biological sciences, in the all-day competition on Nov. 14 at San Gabriel High School. The events included multiple-choice tests, essay writing and speechmaking.
Almost half of the first-place winners in the essay competition are from area schools: Daniel Chen, from Whitney High in Cerritos; Matt Pizzo and Dan Kim, from Warren High in Downey; Jaime Poisal, from Santa Fe High in Santa Fe Springs, and Newton Chow, from La Serna High in Whittier.
Eight area students won first-place honors for speeches: Eric Barela of Bellflower High, Judith Quinones from California High in Whittier, Erika Chavez and Judy Flores of El Rancho High in Pico Rivera, Corey Johnston and Sabrina McTier of Lynwood High, Joanne Kim of Warren High, and Elizabeth Sanchez of California Academy of Math and Science, a Carson school administered by the Long Beach school district.
In the interview category, first-place awards went to Eric Barela of Bellflower High, Hugo Ortiz of the California Academy of Math and Science, Judith Quinones of California High, Jose Lopez of Compton High, Pramod Patel of La Mirada High, Sabrina McTier of Lynwood High and Monica Chavez of Whittier High.
In the social science competition, Hee Kim of Warren High and Billy Chen of Whitney High finished first and second, respectively.
In the mathematics competition, the local high scorers were Hee Kim of Warren High, Peter Wang of Whitney High and Daniel Borlean of Norwalk High.
In the science category, top finishers were Hee Kim and Dan Kim of Warren High, and Ehren Evans of the California Academy of Math and Science.
Overall, five area high schools ranked in the top 25: Whitney, 10th; Warren, 11th; El Rancho, 18th; Cerritos, 23rd, and California Academy of Math and Science, 24th.
West High School of Torrance captured top team honors for the third consecutive year. That team will represent the county in the state competition in March.
Individual high school teams had to include students with A, B and C averages.