El Camino Real High School

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El Camino Real Charter High School
El Camino Real Charter.PNG
5440 Valley Cir Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
School type Charter
Founded 1969
School district Los Angeles Unified School District
Principal -
Grades 9–12
Enrolment 3,766
Colour(s)              Blue, Gold, and White
Mascot The Conquistadors
Newspaper The King's Courier

El Camino Real Charter High School (also known locally as "ECR" or "Elco") is a public secondary school located in the Woodland Hills district of the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California. The school, founded in 1969, was designed to emulate a small college campus, with a large central "quad" and an open campus policy (at least not in years 1969-1972).

ECR serves portions of Woodland Hills and West Hills and also maintains a sizable "traveling" student population from other areas of the district.

ECR's Academic Performance Index was 832 out of 1,000 in 2012, a leap of 28 points over the previous year's mark.[1]

From March 31, 2009, El Camino Real High School became a California Distinguished School. In December 2010, the teachers and staff at the school voted for it to become a charter school. This change took effect in the fall of 2011.

Academic competitions[edit]

Academic Decathlon team[edit]

The school's Academic Decathlon team won national titles in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2014 (a national record).[2]

Science Bowl[edit]

ECR's Science Bowl competes in one of the most difficult regions in all of the United States. In recent years, they have made it to the semifinals and placed in the top 4 four times in recent history. In 2001, they placed fourth; 2006–2nd place; 2007–3rd place; and in 2009–4th place.

The King's Courier[edit]

The King's Courier is El Camino's award-winning school newspaper. The paper is student run and published every two weeks. Members of its staff return every year with trophies from regional, state and national competition, and its editors have moved on to positions on newspapers at schools such as Ole Miss, Harvard, Cornell, UCLA and Columbia. Its partner in journalism, "El Camino Reality," is a biweekly webcast news show. The show's predecessor, "ECEye," was removed from its weekly airing at El Camino in 2008 after a successful two-year run.

Mock Trial[edit]

ECR's Mock Trial team has been active since 2012. The team is currently sponsored and coached by AP Government and Social Studies teacher Scott Lundgren alongside Spanish teacher Nadine De la rosa and lawyer-coach Eric Spencer. In the team's inaugural season the team finished with an 0–2 record against some of the top schools in the county, the losses came in small margins and showed hope for the young team. Noah Grossman, a junior at the time, won an award for his portrayal of one the cases key witnesses. The following season the team found huge success going on to win a trial with an impressive 26 point margin over Cathedral High School however lost by a close margin of four points to the previous year's third place team San Marino High School, ending their season. Junior Shawn Haq (Prosecution Lawyer) and Bryce Manley (Defense Witness) won the MVP awards for each of the two days. Senior Khephra Lord won the county award for best Clerk. In the offseason the team was invited and competed at the San Marino Mock Trial Inviational where the team went undefeated with sizable margins of victory.

Model United Nations[edit]

The school's Model United Nations club is known as ECRMUN and has won many awards. It was formed in 1976.


ECR has also won the Envirothon regional competition 7 consecutive years in a row placing two teams last year at the State division at 2nd place and 5th place. El Camino's 2006 Envirothon team placed first in the entire state, and went on to place fourth in the nationals competition in Canada.

JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society)[edit]

JETS promotes interest in engineering, science, math, and technology in high school students and provides them with real-world engineering teamwork and problem-solving experiences. The Team participates in the TEAMS (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) Competition that occurs annually in March and is hosted and sponsored by the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC).

  • In 2006, the ECR JETS Team won 2nd place at the Southern California Regional Varsity Competition, missing First Place to Beverly Hills High School by one point.
  • In 2007, the ECR JETS Team again won 2nd place at the Southern California Regional Varsity Competition, increasing their score significantly by 7 points but once again missing First Place to Beverly Hills High School by only one point.
  • In 2008, the ECR JETS Team won 1st place at the Southern California Regional Varsity Competition, defeating rival Beverly Hills High School. El Camino Real also placed second in the state of California, and advanced to the nationals.
  • In 2009, the ECR JETS Team had tied a second place with another high school at their division. However, the team had only received the trophy of the third place because of a random tie breaker.
  • In 2010, the ECR JETS Team placed 1st in Regionals and progressed to Nationals.[3]

Speech and Debate[edit]

ECR's speech and debate team was founded during the late 1980s and has since then achieved great success regionally and nationally. On the local level, the team competes in the Tri-County Forensic League as well as at various college invitationals held at institutions such as UC Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Kentucky, and Harvard University. Over several decades, the team has been able to qualify over 29 entries to the California State Championships, 10 entries to the NSDA National Championship, 12 entries to the NCFL Grand National Championship, and 5 entries to the Tournament of Champions. In 2015, senior Marlon Poroj became the first NSDA national finalist in the team's history, placing 18th at the National Championship.[4] In 2016, senior Shawn Haq became the first state champion in the team's history, winning the California State Championship.[5] 2016 was also the first year the team had a finalist at the prestigious Tournament of Champions (TOC) with senior Shawn Haq ranking 8th in the final round of the TOC.[6] In 2017 the team had an outstanding performance at states receiving 3rd and 7th at states and 12th at nationals

NSDA National Qualifiers include:

  • Corinne Rockoff in Public Forum Debate (2009)
  • Robert Malka in Public Forum Debate (2009)
  • Feras Morad in Congressional Debate (2013)
  • Marlon Poroj in Congressional Debate (2015)
  • Gabriel Salazar in Congressional Debate (2015)
  • Shawn Haq in Congressional Debate (2014 and 2016), Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking (2015)
  • Sarem Haq in Congressional Debate (2017)
  • Ryan Keane in Congressional Debate (2017


In 2009, the ECR Robotics Team fielded two teams: 404 and 404b. Both teams qualified for the 2009 Vex Championship of the Americas in Omaha, Nebraska. Both robots earned the first place in the 2009 Vex Championship of Americas. Team 404 also won the 2009 Vex World Championship at Dallas, Texas, a competition that hosted almost 300 robots from around the world.

In 2010, ECR Robotics successfully defended its National Championship title and became the first high school to win two national titles consecutively.

In 2011, Team 404 fielded 3 robots for the season, all three qualified for the world championship in Orlando, Florida. At Worlds 404C made it to the science division finals, only losing to the world champions. Basically they finished 2nd out of a division of 100 teams.

In 2012, Team 404 fielded 5 robots for the season, and accumulated 28 trophies, including 13 tournament championships, 2 Excellence Award, 4 Tournament Finalists, 2 programming skills championship, 2 robot skills championship, 3 Amaze Awards, 1 Build Award and 1 Design Award, over the course of eight competitions. In March, ECR Robotics won the US National Championship again and became the first high school to win three national titles. At Anaheim Convention Center in April, ECR Robotics also went undefeated in the 2012 VEX World Championship Science Division. After allying with Lynfield College of New Zealand, Robot 404 and 404E won Division Champions at World Championship. Robot 404D won World Amaze Award at Mathematics Division. Robot 404 and 404E went on to finish 3rd/4th at the World Championship, marking the team's highest finish since winning in 2009.


In 1979, the women's basketball team won the state championship.[citation needed] It is the only time that an ECR sports team has won an all-state title. In 2013 girls' soccer won nationals

Dance Guard[edit]

El Camino Real's Color Guard, commonly known as Dance Guard, was ranked 17th in the world in 2014 and 2nd in the state in 2014 and 2015. They compete with flags, rifles, and sabres, and are trained in ballet and jazz dance. In the fall season, they perform with the ECR Marching Band during football halftime shows and field show competitions throughout the city. They won Sweepstakes at the 2015 SCSBOA Championships for the 1A Division. During the winter season, they participate in Winter Guard, in which they perform indoors statewide. They are coached by Shelly Marshall, ECR dance and aerobics teacher, Alison Galliher, former color guard performer and ECR Spanish teacher, and Rian Hardie, ECR Dance Guard alumna.


ECR has an active Naval Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps unit, led by the Senior Naval Science Instructor LCDR Mike Consoletti, USN (ret) and Naval Science Instructor CPO Ronald Dunn, USN (ret). The cadets compete in the fields of academics, drill, and athletics, in addition to completing thousands of hours of community service per school year. The ECR NJROTC is competitive in its local area, and has qualified for the Area 11 Regional Invitational Field Meet in every recent school year, which is akin to a state competition in varsity athletics. The title of "Distinguished Unit" has been awarded to the Conquistadors for eight consecutive years, but in the 2012 Area Manager Inspection (or AMI), they have earned the lesser title of "Unit Achievement." ECR again earned the "Distinguished Unit" title in 2013.

Fine arts[edit]

ECR also has two notable choral groups, under the direction of Terry Fischer for the last 15 years. These groups consist of the El Camino Real Girls Choir, an SSAA choir composed of girls from freshman to senior year, and the Camerata, an SATB choir composed of mostly juniors and seniors. Both groups have achieved considerable success.

In the summer of 2004, Camerata performed the Mozart Requiem as well as other pieces under the direction of Dr. Eph Ehly at Oberammergau, Germany during the 2004 Oberammergau International Choral Festival.

In 2007, the girls choir performed Stephen Paulus' Songs of Meditation with several other women's choirs, a production by MidAmerica Productions. It was only the second performance of the piece with an orchestra, originally commissioned by the Tucson Boys Choir. In the summer of 2007, Camerata also traveled to Lucerne, Switzerland to perform.

In 2009–2010, plans to perform the Phantom of the Opera Medley for the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Mother's Day with Dick Van Dyke. They have also performed at various performances during the year, and recently performed at The Big Event.

ECR is also renowned for its drama program, cited as one of LAUSD's finest theatre programs. The Play Production class was invited to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005. The group performed The Laramie Project to critical acclaim under the direction of Sue Freitag.

ECR's Instrumental Music Department consists of Marching Band, Concert Band, String Orchestra, Jazz Band A, Jazz Band B, and the winter Drum Line, numerous awards and honors have been achieved. The Marching Band had a record of numerous City Championships in the 1970s and 80s. Jazz Band A was featured as a performer as part of the Playboy Jazz Festival. The Drum Line was the American Drum Line Association Scholastic C Gold Medalist and will be featured in a national advertising campaign by Carnation in the summer of 2010. The Instrumental Music Department also provides an AP music theory class which most recently had a 91% pass rate.


In 1998 the school had 3,315 students.[7][when?]7% African American, 1% American Indian, 25% Asian, 33% White, 65% Latino, 5% English Learners, 7% Special Education, 43% Gifted and Talented, 22% Economically Disadvantaged, 15% Students moving in and out of this school during the year.[citation needed] Over 1,000 of them, as of 1998, were classified as "gifted and talented". Several area parents disliked the LAUSD magnet program points admission system, so they chose to instead move to the ECR attendance zone and enroll their gifted-classified children there.[7]

As of 1998 ECR had a strong reputation that gave its graduates extra clout in university admissions, and it had one of the highest rates of acceptance to the University of California, Berkeley.[7]

As of 1998 70% of ECR students moved on to colleges and universities compared to 52% overall for LAUSD.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ El Camino Real Senior High in WOODLAND HILLS, CA | Best High Schools | US News
  2. ^ Academic Decathlon National Champions Archived March 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ JETS 2010 National Rankings, for the 11th/12th grade category.
  4. ^ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/2015-HS-Nationals-Results-Packet.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.joyoftournaments.com/ca/chssa/2016/results17-8.htm
  6. ^ http://tabroom-files.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/tourns/5019/postings/8031/2016TOCCongressionalDebateResults.pdf
  7. ^ a b c d Hardy, Terry. "Top of the Class" (education section). Los Angeles Magazine. Emmis Communications, October 1998. Vol. 43, No. 10. ISSN 1522-9149. Start: p. 52. CITED: p. 68.
  8. ^ "1998 All-NFL Team". infoplease.com. 
  9. ^ Elling, Steve (October 22, 1989). "El Camino Real Fullback Anderson Raised by Protective Father". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ Chu, Henry (March 9, 1992). "El Camino Real High Team Wins State Academic Decathlon and a Spot in Nationals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Fire signs forward Barouch, midfielder Videira". WFMY. March 10, 2011. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ "America Ferrera – Biography – Movies & TV – NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. April 18, 1984. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  13. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (April 14, 2013). "Ex-ECR standout Conor Jackson announces his retirement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  14. ^ Bolch, Ben (August 18, 2011). "Boston Red Sox call up El Camino Real's Ryan Lavarnway". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ Ryan Finley Arizona Daily Star. "Glove affair: Dad helps Mejia become big-play shortstop". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ Farmer, Sam (May 6, 1990). "El Camino Real Baseball Team Strikingly Similar to '78 Version". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  17. ^ Elling, Steve (April 21, 1993). "Competitiveness Feeds El Camino Real's Wolf". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^ Fletcher, Jeff (March 3, 1994). "After Banner Junior Season, El Camino Real's Ace Pitcher Hasn't Changed His Prioritie". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°10′14″N 118°38′35″W / 34.170422°N 118.643127°W / 34.170422; -118.643127