Foreign Language Awards Night Proves Walpole Students’ Interests in Foreign Culture


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Every year, Walpole High School dedicates a night to honor the hard work and dedication put forth by students taking a foreign language class. Walpole High’s Foreign Language Awards Night (otherwise known as FLAN), was hosted in the high school’s auditorium on May 22, 2012 at 7 p.m. Over 185 students were invited to FLAN to accept awards in their achievements, and to be acknowledged for their excellence.

Mrs. Lisa Osborne, head of the foreign language department, began the evening’s event by discussing the importance of learning foreign languages, and accepting different cultures. Principal Stephen Imbusch also expressed his gratitude for the department’s successful and dedicated teachers, and their efforts to globally educate students. Before beginning the awards ceremony, Mrs. Osborne recognized and awarded Freshman Emma Sewell for winning first place in the poster contest held earlier in the year. Sewell’s poster is proudly displayed in the Language Lab, along with other student-made posters.

To start off the awards ceremony, students maintaining a 90 or above throughout the year in Latin, were inducted into the Latin Honor Society by Latin teacher, Gabriel Bakale. Almost 100 students in Latin levels I through IV accomplished this goal, along with earning awards for other languages they take in addition to Latin. Many of these students scored remarkably well on the National Latin Exam, receiving magna cum laude, maxima cum laude, and summa cum laude awards, like Freshman Joe Burke, Sophomore Marisa Mansen, Juniors Carley Thomas, Erin Batchelder, Alex Taurone, and Seniors Lorna D’Sa and Meghan Lescault. In addition to the National Latin Exam, many students took the National Greek Exam after completing a small Greek unit in Latin III. Juniors Erin Myers, Hanna O’Leary, Steph Barmakian, Ellen Craig, and Alex Taurone received recognition for outstanding achievement on the Greek exam. Ms. Laura Kay’s Latin IV class provided entertainment for the night with their song “Fama habet.”

Shortly after, Mrs. Osborne’s French V AP class performed an enthralling dance filled with glow sticks and a light show, called “Ella Elle l’a.” Mrs. Osborne also announced the winners of the National French Exam, including top winner for level 2, Freshman Colleen O’Connor; level 3 winner and scoring in the 90th percentile, Sophomore Mike Van Der Linden; level 4 winners, Juniors Ashley Maciejewski, Mike Habib, and Michelle Monahan; and level 5 winners, Seniors Meghan Lescault, Lorna D’sa, and John Griffin. Several students from Johnson Middle School were awarded, as was Andrew Wheeler, a Bird Middle School student, who scored in the 91st percentile. Some of the opted for the Study in China program.

Gordon Strick, Walpole High’s Mandarin Chinese teacher, awarded several of his students for their comprehension and pronunciation skills. Mr. Strick recognized Freshman Tommy Chang, Sophomore Jess Owens, Junior Will Wherty, and Senior Ryan Walsh.

After the Mandarin Awards, the German III/IV class performed a song called, “Jetzt ist Sommer.” Following the performance, Mrs. Elizabeth Pierce gave out awards to German II Sophomores, Mackenzie Wilson, Trevor Brown, and Rachel Harris, along with German II Juniors Mike Ciampa and Christa Pellowe. German III Juniors Laura Drinan and Phil Reidy, and German III Seniors Keyaira Swords and Emma Batting also received awards. German IV’s winners included Seniors Hanna Ciechanowski and top scorer, Dan Dubois.

Christopher Alberg’s Spanish V AP class prepared and performed a Spanish song/dance “mashup” for the audience, prior to the Spanish award ceremony. The awards were given to all the students who scored in the top 50th percentile. In Mrs. Kathleen Frattasio’s level I Spanish class, Sophomore Bridget Lindh was the top scorer. Level II winner was Sophomore Joe Burke, who received special recognition for being one of twelve students to earn the Global Citizen Scholarship and has been honored to participate in an opportunity to study at Concordia Language Village, a Spanish summer camp, in Minnesota, in July. Level III winners include Sophomores Maggie Moriarty, Ashley Waldron, Matt Brownsword, Remy Love, Jack Stedman, Karalyn Kickham, Kaylin Hallet, Lauren Regan, and Michele Lucas. Juniors Sean Burchesky, Brittany Kinch, Maria Langenhorst, Amber Walsh, Alex Taurone, Caleb Cofsky, and Vandana Apte received recognition on the level IV test. Level V winners were Seniors Carleen O’Driscoll, Kira Street, Alex Wong, Jon Trudell, Rachel Williams, Tessa Bloechl, John Griffin, and Caroline Weldon. Weldon had spent her junior year in Spain through the program AFS Intercultural Programs, and Weldon became the top scorer for Walpole High’s National Spanish Exam. Additionally, Johnson Middle School students Marina DeCelle, Ellie Kellan Kuritis, Kaitlyn Porter, and Michael Sullivan were awarded for the excellence in Spanish level I, as were Bird Middle School students Megan O’Mira, Brian Kelly, and Dylan Knight.

Before the evening was over, Mrs. Osborne presented a handful of students who had won different awards for the evening. This included the Middlebury Book Award by George Watson, which was awarded to Junior Vandana Apte. The Diversity Award went to  three students who excelled in multiple languages. Winners were Freshman Joe Burke for Latin and Spanish, Sophomore Catherine Murphy for Spanish and Mandarin, and Junior Jen Mazotta for Latin and Spanish. Lastly, the Ernest Camillo Scholarship was awarded to Senior Lorna D’Sa for her success in Latin and French.

As usual, Walpole’s annual FLAN went extremely well. Walpole High has been recognized for its well-rounded foreign language department. A large majority of the students enrolled at WHS are a part of the foreign language program, and some of them have even begun taking more than one. “Languages are an integral part of education because in order to be in tune with the world, we should have some idea of how to communicate with everyone,” said D’Sa. Foreign Language Awards Night has proved to students, staff, and family that Walpole continues to reach out and connect to other cultures.