Long at James Clemens earns trip to Germany

MADISON – Hailey Long, a student at James Clemens High School, won’t have to worry about ways to stay busy this summer. Long’s outstanding achievements in the study of German have landed her an all-expenses paid trip to Germany.

Long is recipient of the Summer Study Abroad Scholarship from the American Association of Teachers of German. She is the first student from James Clemens to receive this honor.

As the only student chosen from Alabama, Long will represent the state in this study venture, Peggy Boynton said. Boynton teaches German and serves as Content Lead for the World Language Department at James Clemens.

“While I am visiting Germany, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of German culture and language,” Long said. “Although learning in a classroom is great for gaining a basic grasp of the German-speaking world, being physically immersed in the culture will be an altogether different experience.”

Long also hopes that her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will help her become more knowledgeable about other cultures.

“I am motivated to learn German and about the German-speaking world because of my amazing German teacher, Frau Boynton. She made learning a new language enjoyable, and I continued to take German classes because of her,” Long said.

Originally, Long enrolled in German because her ancestors came from Germany. “I continued to take the language with the goal to better understand another culture in order to broaden my mind,” Long said.

Hailey’s parents are Avery and Jenny Long.

Long was selected as a national winner after scoring in the 90th percentile on the Level 3 National German Exam for High School Students. The teachers’ association sponsors the exam. After qualifying with a high score on the national exam, Long submitted responses to essay questions in both German and English.

In addition, a committee of high school teachers and college professors of German interviewed Long.

“This year’s prize winners are some of the finest students in the United States,” teacher association executive director Keith Cothrun said. “The prize is a great reward for excellence in learning German – the best way to know a fascinating language and culture through firsthand experiences living with a German family and attending school.”

Long’s study trip includes round-trip air transportation to Germany from New York, a homestay with a host family and excursions to places of cultural and historical significance. The Federal Republic of Germany funded a grant for the trip.

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