Zaniar Moradian, won two gold medals in LAUSD's annual Academic Decathlon competition
Feb 24, 2011
Zaniar Moradian, a seventeen year old Kurdish Iranian-American High School senior, honored his family, school, and community by winning two gold medals in LAUSD's annual Academic Decathlon competition. He was also the recipient of the award for the highest individual score in his team, which helped qualify Van Nuys High School for the state-level competitions for the first time in the contest's history.
Zaniar, his teammates, and academic coach will be heading to Sacramento CA, where they will compete with winning teams from across the vast state.
Short intro: Zaniar Moradian
Aside from his involvement in academic competitions, Zaniar manages to successfully juggle a demanding schedule of advanced placement (AP) classes with a GPA of 3.92. For many years, Zaniar also played the piano and was a member of his school's orchestra where he played the violin.
It is nearly impossible to imagine; less than ten years ago, this brilliant student could not speak a coherent sentence in English. It is a testament of his highly motivated character that he has been able to rise so high in such a short period of time in the United States. He is now fluent in English and is even able to speak Farsi, and Kurdish.
Zaniar also defies many stereotypes of the highly studious. He is well mannered, fun-loving, sociable, well groomed and fashionably dressed at all times. He is always ready to lend a helpful hand around the house and offer a compassionate ear to his friends and family.
Although the last ten years of his life has been relatively stable, Zaniar's early childhood stands out as extraordinary. His politically active parents were forced to flee their homeland when he was only two years old, and the family continued a journey of hardship for several years in various countries as refugees. But rather than looking at his past from a gloomy lens, Zaniar has been able to utilize his early reality to develop a rational, holistic, deep, and sensible personality. He is well-versed in the human-rights violations committed against the Kurdish people, and he regularly participates in social activism promoting humanitarian causes.
Zaniar's ambitions are as grand as his abilities. He has an entrepreneurial spirit, an unmatched curiosity, which he hopes to combine with advanced scientific knowledge. Even at such a young age he is inspiring the people around him. He wants his name in the history books as a renowned Kurdish scientist. With the support and love of his family it is only a matter of time before this dream is realized.
We wish Zaniar and his teammates much luck in their upcoming competitions and we hope to participate in his future success
Short background on Academic Decathlon:
Academic Decathlon is a national competition of academic strength for high school students. It is a vigorous, highly selective, multi-part, multi-disciplinary, and interscholastic timed contest. This competition consists of ten exacting tests in: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science, and Speech. Students are also interviewed by judges and required to perform impromptu speeches. One of the most important features of this competition is the demand for excellence in various academic subjects in addition to the ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral formats. Teams who score high in their regional districts will move on to compete with teams from across their respective states, followed by a national competition formed by winning teams from each state.
For years, LAUSD has been home to state and national Academic Decathlon champions. It is safe to argue that CA's toughest, and most persevering contenders are amongst the teams from LAUSD schools. Students who participate in these events are considered athletes of the mind. They are no doubt some of the brightest individuals of their community.
Competing in Academic Decathlon is more than an intellectual challenge. It is one of the most highly regarded, prestigious, well-established academic events for HS students. Simply being able to maintain a position on an Academic Decathlon team is an achievement. However, like all contests, winners are celebrated and rewarded with recognition, acknowledgement, and awards.