German students from James Clemens rate ‘virtually’ well with UA

At James Clemens High School, Raleigh Schmidt records his first-place winning song for German Day at the University of Alabama. (CONTRIBUTED)
At James Clemens High School, Raleigh Schmidt records his first-place winning song for German Day at the University of Alabama. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Students of German at James Clemens didn’t give up when the University of Alabama canceled German Day on Feb. 18 because of icy weather.

“German Day was completed ‘virtually.’ The university held competitions because students had invested so many hours of hard work,” Peggy Boynton said. She teaches German and Latin at James Clemens.

Students mailed visual art and written contests. They recorded speaking and performance events.

A statewide convention, German Day has three major competition categories: speaking/performance, written and visual arts. “My students are challenged to show off their German skills they’ve been working on all year long,” Boynton said.

In 2014, James Clemens won nine awards. This year, they earned 27 awards. German Day motivates students to continue German studies at levels 3, 4 and advanced placement. Research has shown that studying world language at an advanced level is a common characteristic among National Merit Scholars, Boynton said.

For Level 3, Katie Colsch won first place and Hiba Najjar took second in reading comprehension. Najjar also took second in individual poetry performance. Raleigh Schmidt won first for individual song and second for geography & culture. Amy Arzonico earned third place, poster collage.

Other winners were Caprice DeVore, second, original art; Stephen Arnsparger, first, individual poetry; and Bianca Escobar, Grace Barnes and Najjar, second, children’s book design. For duo dialog, Arzonico and Schmidt were first; Adam Nebelsick and Dalton Ratcliffe, second; and Najjar and Gage Bates, third.

James Clemens took third for group song performance of “Supergeil” (“very awesome”).

In Level 2 for extemporaneous reading, Arianna Lillian, Elijah Conway and Deryck Hinze were first-, second- and third-place winners. Lillian also placed second in dictation.

Other winners were Cecilia Carter, first, reading comprehension; Chelsea Weis, second, individual poetry and third, reading comprehension; Caitlin Wesson, first, T-shirt design and third, original art; Kirsten Petersen and Bradleigh Herwig, second, children’s book; Petersen, Weis and Herwig, first, group poetry, group song “Hakuna Matata”; Wesson, Conway, Lillian and Leslie DeVore, second, group poetry; and Deringer Craig and Brookes Mattingly, third, duo dialog.

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