ODA Students Excel at Latin Forum

ODA students had a spectacular showing at the Florida Junior Classical League Regional Forum this year. The 40 students, along with faculty chaperones Ms. Nicole Fafalios, Ms. Anya Grady, Ms. Alyssa Mandel, and Mr. Paul LeBras, traveled to Plant City for the day-long competition in multiple categories. ODA students took home a total of 44 awards/trophies.
“During the competition, the focus on academics, arts, and athletics–always a part of Roman and Greek culture–lines up nicely with ODA’s mission, and the core values of the Junior Classical League mirror ODA’s Core Values,” says Ms. Fafalios. “I believe that events like this further help Latin teachers instill an appreciation for the ancient world and demonstrate in a very tangible way that studying the classics is even more interdisciplinary and relevant to their lives than students may realize.”

To prepare for the competition, students selected which of the academic and creative areas they were most interested in and were responsible for their own preparation. Students were encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones and stretch their limits.

“This year, I challenged myself in taking a test I had no background knowledge in: Greek Derivatives,” says Mutaz Faqqouseh ‘19. “I thought it was going to be incredibly difficult, but I actually ended up earning second place. I realized that if I put my mind to accomplishing something, I can achieve it through hard work and determination.”

To challenge themselves, several ODA students elected to participate in the Certamen, an intense, Jeopardy-like contest that involves taking risks and working as a team. ODA’s team of Arya Bulusu ‘20, John Floersheimer ‘19, Mira Khazanchi ‘20, and Ashley Sciame ‘20 battled fiercely and earned 5th place against their field of competitors.

“Being a part of FJCL for the past four years has taught me to not be scared to explore my interests,” reflects Mutaz. “I've developed a passion for Latin which I otherwise wouldn't have known I possessed if I hadn't been willing to step outside my comfort zone.”

ODA’s US Latin scholars were frequent visitors to the award podium, earning first place medals in the Academic category for PMAQ Advanced, in the Creative category for 2D Non-Graphic, Costumes, Dramatic Interpretation, Models, Charts & Posters, and Miscellaneous, and in the Olympika category for Friscus. Joining these performances were seven second place medals, and multiple awards in third through fifth place.

Middle Schoolers were also strong performers at the competition, with a first place in Creatives; Textiles. There were also three second place awards in the Olympika and Creatives, and a dozen third through fifth place finishes.

In addition, ODA students brought home two trophies in the Creatives Sweepstakes; second place in the Senior category, and third place in the Junior category. Click here to see a full listing of our students' academic awards from the Florida Junior Classical League Regional Forum.

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