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Convention challenges, entertains Bob Jones students of Latin

Numerous Latin students from Bob Jones High School won awards at the state convention held at Hoover High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Numerous Latin students from Bob Jones High School won awards at the state convention held at Hoover High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Academics, mythology and even a toga banquet engaged students from Bob Jones High School at the 59th annual Alabama Junior Classical League State Latin Convention.

Latin students convened at Hoover High School on April 26-27 “to promote the study of the classics and create a sense of camaraderie among those who do,” Latin teacher Raymond Congo said.

The first-day agenda had an athletic Olympiad, academic contests and the toga banquet, which included costume and mythology contests and a dance. “The next morning, we had artistic categories, the awards ceremony and final rounds of ‘certamen,’ a quiz bowl based on Latin language and culture,” Congo said.

Bob Jones’ first-place winners were Camille Hebert, advanced derivatives; Kalee Yem, charcoal art; Kali Biddlecombe, three-dimensional art; Abigail Nichols, handicrafts; and Kalee Yem and Camille Hebert, T-shirt design.

Derivatives involve a test about English words based on Latin terms. For handicrafts, students constructed items inspired by the ancient world. One made jewelry with symbols of Romulus, Rome’s first king. Another student created a stuffed soldier and horse.

Winners in second place were Kali Biddlecombe, advanced culture; Kim Czerniewski, level 2 derivatives; Melissa McMahon and Katelyn McWhirter, advanced grammar; Patrick Brady, advanced reading; Allison Gabbert, 3-D art; and Camille Hebert and Katelyn McWhirter, three-legged race.

Third-place winners were LouAnn Crosby, level 1 grammar; Ashley Raby, level 2 vocabulary; and Patrick Brady, handicrafts.

Students enjoyed field day activities before the academic tests. “This year, there was a three-legged race, water jug hold, wheelbarrow race, chair carry, water balloon toss, balloon stomp, 100-yard sprint and ultimate Frisbee,” Congo said.

At a previous convention, Congo brought home the idea to have ‘Olympic games’ on the Bob Jones campus. “Several years ago, I began the World Language Olympics as a way for our various language clubs to come together for an afternoon and have fun,” he said.

At Bob Jones, Congo teaches Latin 1-3 and an advanced-placement course.

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