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Colonial Middle School celebrates Latin learners

Colonial Middle School celebrates Latin learners

by Leena Krayyem, PWHS Class of 2024

CMS Latin Students holding certicates

Colonial Middle School Latin scholars stepped up this year as they were honored for their high achievements on the National Latin Exam. Students were also recognized for their creations in the arts and literature during the Philadelphia Classical Society’s Latin Week Competition. 

See full list of awards below!

Students across the country took the National Latin Exam throughout the end of February to the beginning of March. The exam tests students on their ability to read, speak, and comprehend Latin writing, as well as their understanding of Roman life, literature, philosophy, geography, and mythology.

Seventh grader Maeve O’Connell took the National Latin Exam and received the high mark of magna cum laude on her exam.

Girl holding handmade necklace in a box

Gabrielle Otero with her handmade necklace. The piece won Best In Show in the Jewelry Division at Latin Week.

Maeve says, “The exam was kind of like the PSSAs but fun, because it’s about Latin stuff!”

The Philadelphia Classical Society’s annual competition called Latin Week invites students to submit original interpretations of subjects and artifacts from Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, history, archaeology, and literature.

Eighth grader Gabrielle Otero crafted her interpretation of ancient Roman jewelry. Otero molded her own beaded Roman necklace using just clay, strings, and some alcohol wipes.

“Last year I made earrings out of clay, and I was like, why not complete the whole set?” Gabrielle said. 

Maeve also wrote a poem that was recognized at the ceremony. After reading a story about the dog Cerberus who guards the gates of the underworld, she decided to take her own twist on his tale. In Maeve’s poem, Cerberus lives with a family in Pompeii, hiding his identity as the dog of the underworld.

“The dog is named Cerberus, and I just thought that was funny so I decided to write about that,” Maeve said.

Colonial Middle School Latin teacher Mrs. Colleen Marengo emphasized the dedication that the young Latin students have shown towards the study.

“They work hard, and they're excited, and they really did above and beyond what they needed to do,” Mrs. Marengo continues, “You can’t go wrong with Latin. If you’re not sure what language you want to take, take Latin.”

National Latin Exam awards:

Maximum Cum Laude (silver medal):

  • Thea Kupersmith
  • Matthew Yanez
  • Katherine Dvali
  • Andrew Katronick

Magna Cum Laude

  • Kevin Dimarco
  • Janani Soundar
  • Chase Copestick
  • Maeve O'Connell
  • Andrew Zhong

Cum Laude

  • Oliver Nasatir
  • William Finn
  • Zachary Chapman
  • Avery Fritts
  • Armin Hasheminasab

Philadelphia Classical Society Latin Week awards:

Summa Cum Laude—Best In Show

  • Ryleigh Lawler (models)
  • Gabrielle Otero (jewelry) 
  • Matthew Yanez (sketch or drawing)

Summa Cum Laude

  • Avishai Eisenman (costume)
  • Julia Moravec (handmade sculpture/pottery)
  • Juliet Tizer (Jewelry)

Magna Cum Laude

  • Reem Ahmed (sketch or drawing)
  • Charles Callahan (models)
  • William Chernov-Gitin (poetry)
  • Chase Copestick (competitive exam)
  • Sinclaire Cummins (costume)
  • Brian Flanagan (sketch or drawing)
  • Mia Jingoli (jewelry)
  • Andrew Katronick (models)
  • Thea Kupersmith (handmade sculpture/pottery)
  • Oliver Nasatir (competitive exam)
  • Oliver Nasatir (poetry)
  • Maeve O'Connell (poetry)
  • Ishan Chowdary Patchava (3-D printed)
  • Czareah Prince (models)
  • Noah Rudzinski (handmade sculpture/pottery)
  • Lincoln Smith (models)
  • Janani Soundar (sketch or drawing)
  • Aaratrika Sarkar (sketch or drawing)
  • Sief Thomas (sketch or drawing)

Cum Laude

  • Avery Fritz (painting)
  • Charles Callahan (competitive exam)
  • Joseph Cervone (costume)
  • Zachary Chapman (models)
  • Jeriah Daniels (sketch or drawing)
  • Kevin DiMarco (competitive exam)
  • Katherine Dvali (competitive exam)
  • Katherine Dvali (prose)
  • Avishai Eisenman (competitive exam)
  • Andrew Katronick (competitive exam)
  • Thea Kupersmith (competitive exam)
  • Connor Logan (sketch or drawing)
  • Coralei Marshman (jewelry)
  • Maeve O'Connell (competitive exam)
  • James Philippsen (handmade sculpture/pottery)
  • Alexander Rase-Blackwell (sketch or drawing)
  • Zachary Schwartz (3-D printed)
  • Lincoln Smith (competitive exam)
  • Matthew Yanez (competitive exam)
  • Andrew Zhong (competitive exam)

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