National Charter Schools Week: Guest Blog From Granada Hills Charter High Decathlon Student

May 11, 2012

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Kimberly Ly, Granada Hills Charter High School

11th Grade

I am Kimberly Ly, and I am Granada.

My experience at Granada Hills Charter High School has been nothing short of amazing. At first, I was put off by the number of students - over 4,000! -- who attend this high school. However, despite the large number, I've felt that all of my teachers were able to give me one-on-one attention when I needed it, and that perhaps would not have been available at a traditional public school. For example, when I was having trouble in Calculus, my teacher, Mrs. Piper, was able to sit down with me during her off-period to help me understand the Taylor Series. Even in a class of 36 other students, Mrs. Piper was still able to individually work with me. Her extra time and effort alleviated much of the stress that came from missing school due to the Academic Decathlon. This was my first year in the Decathlon Team, and we all knew we had big shoes to fill, since our predecessors had taken the National and State Championships last year. The Team started practicing this summer. Without the understanding of my teachers, finding a balance between school work and the Decathlon activities would have been very challenging.

In addition, both the cafeteria and custodial staff have been extremely generous this year. Every day after school, the cafeteria provides us with food to keep us going through our long nights. In fact, I look forward to studying after school just so I can get a Calzone or a Chicken Caesar Salad (and also motivated by winning a National Championship, but that was secondary to food). Not only that, but I also greatly appreciate the custodial staff we have on campus. Even as the Academic Decathlon team was staying until 8:00 PM to study, so were the custodians. Every day at 4:30 PM, our custodian Angelica would always pop in to clean the classroom. As she was sweeping, she would take the time to ask us how we were doing and when our next competition was. She would tell us how proud she was of us, and those little conversations in between studying always brightened up my day.

When we took the National and State Championships again this year, we knew we had made our whole school proud, and the charter movement as well. Being part of this school is something I will treasure forever.

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