Latin students set record number of state qualifiers

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Amal Thomas

Junior Heath Koch dressed as Charon, a figure in Greek mythology, for the costume contest.

A school record of 36 Latin students are advancing to the Texas State Junior Classical League (TSJCL) state competition in April by placing first or second at the Area C convention. Earning a total of 82 awards, students competed in various events at the convention on Feb. 8 at Austin College.

“The kids really tried hard and they studied a lot this year,” sponsor Courtney Herring said. “It’s nice they got recognized for that. It really is all on them.”

TSJCL is a branch of the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) organization, which encourages interest in and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman culture.  At conventions, students compete in various academic contests, which are written or oral. They can submit art work, create costumes or take part in physical competitions, such as swimming and basketball.

“I like that they get to see there’s a lot of weird kids out there just like them,” Herring said. “There’s no telenovela like the Spanish kids have. [Latin kids] can’t go anywhere and use their language for real. They get to see that it does apply [at the conventions].”

The state competition will take place April 11-13 at Westwood High School in Round Rock, Texas. According to Herring, the district will help pay for those who place first or second in their respective events at state to go to the national convention during the summer at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.