The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Latin students schoolwide attend State Junior Classical League Convention

Printed with permission of Felix Chen
Junior Classical League (JCL) Webmaster and school club leader Sophia Vourakis ’24 and club member Grady Ramberg ’24 sit for a photo. The school’s JCL chapter attended the weekend statewide convention in Atherton, California to participate in activities and Latin-related academics.

Latin students from the Upper School and Lower School attended the annual Junior Classical League (JCL) convention at Menlo School in Atherton, California from April 12 to April 14. The trip was open to all students who study the language and was organized and chaperoned by teachers from both campuses.

The 69th annual convention, which included JCL chapters from schools in Northern and Southern California featured many activities including Certamen, a Latin knowledge competition, sporting events and informal activities. The upper school team won second place in Certamen at the Advanced level, and the lower school MS-1 team made it to the finals round.

Ryan Acosta ’26 said the engaging atmosphere of the convention was the highlight of the trip.

“I enjoyed the CAJCL convention because I was able to be back again in the friendly competition of the classics,” said Acosta. “The activities were thoughtfully planned out and I had fun doing them. Something I really liked about this convention was the chance to play in Open Certamen. It’s the activity I like the most and being on a team with other Latin students across [California] was a nice experience.”

Upper school Latin Teacher Marc Schuhl, who was one of the chaperones on the trip, said the convention provided an array of activities that represented interests across the community.

“The convention was a nice balance of events for students with different temperaments and goals,” Schuhl said. “Some students got to take part in very competitive state Certamen quiz bowl finals and others could just enjoy attending presentations ranging from ancient magic spells to Bronze Age metalworking. Latin students are always a small minority on any campus, and having 900 of us all in one place for the weekend lets us all feel connected to a larger group of people.”

Shimon Schlessinger ’26 said his favorite part of the trip was connecting with fellow students and being with the Classics community.

“During the convention, most of my time was focused on academic events [such as] Certamen, academic testing and sight-reading,,” Schlessinger said. “While I enjoyed participating in these events, they are not why I plan on returning to JCL next year; for me, JCL provides a great opportunity to be immersed in a group of people who all share this common interest in the classics. It’s a common refrain that Latin is a dead language, but JCL reminds me that Latin still plays an important role in the lives of people throughout the state. Being with a community of similar-minded students led to a lot of memories that I will cherish for a long time.”

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Celine Wang
Celine Wang, Sophomore Editor
Celine Wang ’26 is a Sophomore Editor for the Chronicle. In her free time, Wang said she takes pleasure in playing with her dog, exploring new genres of music and traveling. Additionally, she is on the school’s girls golf team and enjoys spending time with her family. Wang said she appreciates the opportunities that HW Media gives her to branch out as a reporter and individual. “In general, I’ve always really loved interacting with new people,” Wang said. “This class allowed me to gain new insights into new perspectives that I have never been exposed to before. Interviewing people with different passions and backgrounds fuels my interest for listening and conversing. This class [has] not only allowed me to grow as a reporter, but also as a person, which I find to be a valuable experience.”

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