The 56th annual gathering of the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) attracted thousands of the nation’s top students to Indiana University in Bloomington during the last week of July. This year ten of those participants came from The Riverside School and Lyndon Institute. The Vermont delegation consisted of Lyndon Institute juniors Rossen Goodwin, Jeremiah Aiken, Joleil Whitney, and Angela Kubicke and sophomores Kate O’Farrell and Ileah Arcand. They were accompanied by their coach, Roy Starling. They were joined by Riverside eighth grade students Waverly Griffin, Katie Lyon and Holden Larsen and their coach, Nathan Gair.
The National Junior Classical League is an organization that promotes the study of Latin, Greek, and the Classics in middle and high school classrooms. The convention provided the Vermont delegation with opportunities to participate in academic and artistic contests, fellowship with Latin students from around the country, service projects, dances and lectures.
Maryellen Griffin, Waverly’s Mother, stated, “They all made us proud with their depth of knowledge about the classics and courage to perform under pressure. They also made us proud by coming out to watch and support each other.“
There were countless moments from this experience that the students will carry with them throughout their lives, but especially noteworthy were the incredible test results to include Waverly Griffin’s 1st place result, out of hundreds of students, on the Ancient Geography test and 4th place result on the Roman History and Mythology tests. Other successes included Rossen Goodwin and Katie Lyon earning 1st place recognition for
their roll call skit at the General Assembly. The skit included an impersonation of Bernie Sanders that brought the house to its knees in laughter.
Angela Kubicke was elected to a national office as editor for the NJCL. Her duties will involve editing a national publication, traveling around the country to other NJCL events and planning meetings.
In the spirit of camaraderie, New Hampshire and Vermont students formed teams to compete in the national Certamen. Certamen is a quiz-bowl style game where teams of four test their knowledge about the Latin language and all aspects of the Ancient World. Participants in this event included Kate O’Farrell in the advanced division, MacKay Breton in the intermediate division, and Waverly Griffin in the novice division. The event was a tremendous learning experience.
“It is so important for us to take students from the Northeast Kingdom to other parts of the country, get them on to college campuses, and to provide them with the opportunity to engage with their peers from across the nation.” stated Starling. “Giving them the opportunity to compete against and make friends with some of the best students in the nation enables them to see just how much they can achieve as a result of hard work and enthusiasm.”
The Vermont delegation at the NJCL National Convention:
Front row left to right: Joleil Whitney, Ileah Arcand, Katie Lyon, Waverly Griffin
Back row left to right: Rossen Goodwin, Jeremiah Aiken, Holden Larsen, MacKay Breton