Junior Classical League place second in state

By Alice Phillips

The upper school Junior Classical League team placed second overall for high schools at the state convention for the Latin organization. Both middle school teams placed first in their respective certamen competitions.

The convention, held at a San Jose high school, was a two day event from Friday March 28 through Saturday March 29. Forty schools sent student delegates to the convention, with 1,309 total students in attendance.

The Upper School sent 17 students to compete at high school levels. The second place overall award was a tally of all points earned in individual, spirit, and academic competitions. The Upper School team also won a second place award for spirit.

“There are plenty of individual awards and academic awards, but none of those matter to me as much as the spirit award,” JCL club adviser and trip chaperone Paul Chenier said. The Middle School sent eight students to compete at middle school and high school levels. Along with two first place awards for the main event, certamen, the middle school teams won numerous individual awards for art, dance, and academic testing and the second place team spirit award. The certamen is a “jeopardy”-style quiz competition.

“There are batteries of exams that the kids take when they get there,” Chenier said. These tests on Latin grammar, mythology, and daily life act as qualification for the individual awards. On Saturday, the certamen, spirit, and cultural competitions take place followed by an awards banquet where the officers for next year’s JCL are elected.

Alex Geller ’10 was elected parliamentarian by the delegates after applying, giving a speech and electioneering.

“For a group that’s so small, we produce a surprising amount of leaders for the state convention,” Chenier said. “[The competition is] a normal mix of academic rigor and fun that Harvard-Westlake students seem to enjoy.”