Fifteen students from St. Andrew’s Upper School participated in the 2011 National Junior Classical League convention held at Eastern Kentucky University from July 25 to July 30. Many students excelled in their individual academic, creative arts, and graphic arts contests.
The Advanced level Competitive Certamen team—comprised primarily of St. Andrew’s students— also won third place in the national tournament. Additionally, another St. Andrew’s student, Olivia Hindera, took second place in the Intermediate level Open Certamen tournament along with teammates from other states.
During the week all conventioneers gathered for daily general assemblies where they competed to show their spirit. As the Texas State Junior Classical League president for 2011-2012, St. Andrew’s student Ali Campion led evening state fellowship meetings where Texas delegates prepared for the spirit competitions in addition to voting for next year’s NJCL student officer board. Incoming TSJCL Editor, Trace Turner, also assisted Ali, along with the rest of the St. Andrew’s delegation who worked hard to support her in role as President. On the final day of the convention all participants marched in the Day in Old Rome Procession through campus while wearing their best Roman costumes. This trip to Kentucky for the St. Andrew’s group also included a Cincinnati Reds baseball game, a day of thrills at Kings Island Amusement Park, and a visit to the beautiful Newport Aquarium.
Two remarkable students managed to finish not only in first place in their level of Latin, but achieved the high score overall at the convention: Scott Dollen '11 on the Mythology test and Rachel Deleery '12 on the Classical Art test. This high score recognition means the student answered the most questions correctly out of any student at the convention in these written contests.
The Advanced Certamen team from St. Andrew’s (plus one Westlake Chap this year), three-time defending state champions, represented the entire state of Texas in this level of the competitive tournament. The team was comprised of 2011 graduates Scott Dollen and Reid Swanger, Emma Richardson of the class of 2012, as well as Westlake High School 2011 graduate Mark Stone. The competition was steep this year, however, and after a valiant climb to the second-seed position in semifinals these students found themselves playing the two great certamen powerhouse states of Florida and Virginia in the final round. Although all players made a great effort to outplay the competition by answering the challenging questions quickly and accurately, both the Florida and Virginia teams had pulled ahead as the final round neared its end. Although Texas was too far behind to catch up and place anywhere but third, they never gave up, continuing to play and attempting to answer questions correctly. Before the final question, when the score was Florida 130, Virginia 110, and Texas 60, Virginia had a chance to catch up and tie with Florida if they could answer the last question before the other teams. Texas captain Reid Swanger, however, took the question before Virginia could answer, locking in Florida as the champions. Although the Virginia players were most disappointed by the result, the Florida team sent grateful glances to the Texas players as they correctly answered the two following bonus questions. The final score was Florida 130, Virginia 110, and Texas 80. Although this hardworking Texas team from St. Andrew’s did not finish first, they made their fans proud of their final round—never giving up and playing the last round like champions until the bitter end.
The team would like to thank all their supporters—parents, friends, and teachers—as well as the alternate players who tirelessly practiced with the team throughout the summer: Connor Butler, Rachel Deleery, Nate Eakman, Olivia Hindera, Trace Turner, and team manager Catherine Pace. The team would also like to thank graduate Philip Swanger ’08 for his help during the convention. The coaching staff—Jennie Luongo, Nathan Michaud, Andrew Rist, and Lauren Dill—is also grateful to the supportive parents for putting up with long practice hours to achieve this fantastic third place result.
Here are the complete NJCL test results, highlighting the students who placed from 1st to 10th in their contests:
Rachel Deleery – Classical Art
Scott Dollen – Mythology
Ali Campion – Publications Contest
Ali Campion – Dramatic Interpretation, Girls’ Poetry
Ali Campion – Sight Latin Recitation, Girls’ Poetry
Olivia Hindera – Open Certamen, Intermediate Level
Reid Swanger – Roman History, Level 5
Scott Dollen – Roman Life, Level 5
Christa Keefer – Sight Latin Girls’ Poetry
Nate Eakman – Latin Literature, Level 1
Nate Eakman - Reading Comprehension, Level 1
Olivia Hindera - Classical Art, Level 2
Reid Swanger – Latin Literature, Level 5
Catherine Pace – Sight Latin Recitation, Level 2 Girls
Emma Richardson – Latin Grammar, Level 4
Ali Campion – Dolls handicrafts, Grade 11
Rachel Deleery – Mythology, Level 4
Scott Dollen – Latin Derivatives, Level 5
Catherine Pace – Traditional Photography, Grade 11
Reid Swanger – Ancient Geography, Level 5
Scott Dollen – Latin Literature, Level 5
Olivia Hindera – Mottoes, Level 2
Connor Butler – Roman Life, Level 3
Nate Eakman – Academic Heptathlon, Level 1
Catherine Pace – Essay, Grade 11 Girls
Emma Richardson – Mottoes, Level 4
Reid Swanger – Academic Heptathlon, Level 5
Connor Butler – Latin Literature, Level 3
Rachel Deleery – Greek Life & Literature, Level 4
Reid Swanger – Latin Vocabulary, Level 5
Ali Campion – Computer Enhanced Photography, Grade 11
Ali Campion – Jewelry handicrafts, Grade 11
Ali Campion – Traditional Photography, Grade 11
Rachel Deleery – Traditional State Scrapbook
Mariah Sager – Dramatic Interpretation, Girls’ Poetry
Mariah Sager – Sight Latin Recitation, Girls’ Prose
Reid Swanger – Academic Decathlon
Reid Swanger – Reading Comprehension: Prose, Level 5