By Jordan Lee
Six members of Loyola’s Junior Classical League (JCL), moderated by Latin teacher Mrs. Teresa Kawamata, attended the 2015 National JCL Convention held at Trinity University in San Antonio this summer.
Mrs. Kawamata said that the JCL’s mission is “to [foster]interest in learning about the Classical world and to strengthen the student’s knowledge and understanding of mythology and English vocabulary. It is a great opportunity to compete against the best of the best in academics or athletics, and it is a chance for the underclassmen to learn from the upperclassmen. The JCL builds a supportive community among its members.”
All six students participated in academic competitions that encompassed derivatives, reading comprehension, and Roman history. They also competed in a fast-pace, Jeopardy-like challenge in Latin knowledge called Certamen. Each Cub who participated in the National JCL Convention placed among the top 20 in his respective academic subjects.
This summer, Cory Gipson ’15 and current seniors from other California high schools competed together as California’s Advanced Certamen team. After defeating last year’s champion, the Massachusetts State team, by 20 points in the semi-finals, Gipson and his teammates advanced to the finals and finished third place overall.
Mrs. Kawamata said, “Watching Cory compete throughout the week was such a great experience because he was confident in his knowledge of the Latin language and culture, and he inspired his other teammates to be confident as well. He worked well with his other teammates even though they were from different schools, and he stayed calm and collected under a great deal of pressure. Most importantly, I saw him having fun, which is what matters at the end.”
Junior James Marquez, along with sophomores Anthony Stenzel and Jarmayne Deala, competed together as California’s Novice Certamen team. With their combined knowledge, the novice team finished in 12th place out of 17 teams.
Stenzel said, “It was a great experience to be a part of the novice team and to test our knowledge against the best of the best from each state. It gave us a chance to think about what we need to do to succeed in future competitions.”
Students interested in learning about the Classics or participating in the Junior Classical League can see Mrs. Kawamata in H202 and are invited to the JCL meetings on Thursdays at lunch and after school.