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Bob Jones takes awards at Latin convention

Latin students from Bob Jones High School dressed appropriately for the toga banquet at their state convention. CONTRIBUTED
Latin students from Bob Jones High School dressed appropriately for the toga banquet at their state convention. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Showing proficiency in the language, students in Latin from Bob Jones High School earned top awards at the 2016 Alabama Junior Classical League Convention.

Vestavia Hills High School hosted the convention on April 22-23. “We had 525 students from over 20 schools,” Bob Jones Latin teacher Raymond Congo said.

Opening the convention, students competed in ‘Olympic games,’ or field day contests between schools. “Students participated in academic contests,” Congo said. A toga banquet was held that night.

“I enjoy taking students to these events because they get excited to see other schools that celebrate Latin and the ancient world,” Congo said.

Gulum Yenisehirli was elected as a league officer and will help organize the 2017 convention.

In advanced Latin reading comprehension, Emma Waldron was first-place winner; Carl Yem followed in second. “I was very excited by their performances. They were up against students who have taken Latin since sixth grade,” Congo said. “They had to read a passage from Cicero, one of the more difficult Latin authors.”

Vying in Roman culture, Katherine Reardon took first place; Shandi Burrows was in second place. Daniel Leaphart won first place in Roman history. Alice Grissom earned second-place honors in Latin derivatives.

For Latin recitation contenders, Andrew Smith grabbed second place. Cassidy Waldron earned second place for her essay. In the mythology bee, Alice Grissom claimed third place. In the artistic category, Lili Bowerman won first place for her colored ink depiction of the Cyclops, Polyphemus.

For the third consecutive year, Bob Jones won first place for club T-shirt, illustrated by Katherine Reardon and Sean Lee. The T-shirt’s political cartoon followed the 2016 theme of the Odyssey and depicted Odysseus sailing between the dangers of Charybdis (Donald Trump) and Scylla (Hillary Clinton).

“The ship’s sail boasts, ‘Make Ithaca Great Again!’ The quote states, ‘Therefore, at last, the heart of Odysseus froze on account of his fear,'” Congo said.

“One the students’ big take-aways is that they realize Latin is still important and others share their view,” Congo said. “Many of my lower-level students are looking forward to preparing for next year and plan to encourage more classmates to attend.”

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