WJCC Latin Students Place in Top 10 at State Convention

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Twenty-two WJCC students participated in the Virginia Junior Classical League convention Nov. 22 and Nov. 23. (Photo courtesy of Ceilidh Mapes)
Twenty-two WJCC students participated in the Virginia Junior Classical League convention Nov. 22 and Nov. 23. (Photo courtesy of Ceilidh Mapes)

Latin is not the dead language for many WJCC middle and high school students.

Those who demonstrated their knowledge of the language and culture at the Virginia Junior Classical League convention last month showed it’s alive and well when they took home some of the top prizes from the convention’s competitions.

Twenty-two WJCC students won a combined 62 awards from the convention, which took place Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 in Richmond. The convention typically hosts between 1,800 and 2,000 students from throughout the commonwealth, said Strother Sharp, Latin teacher at Hornsby Middle School.

Sharp, who has taught Latin in the school division for more than 15 years, said this year’s WJCC participants “really distinguished themselves.”

“This is work that they’ve done above and beyond their regular classwork,” Sharp said. “It represents an awful lot of work and dedication.”

She said the quality of work submitted by all students to the convention, which ranged from original myths penned by students to mosaics and costumes, was “astonishing.”

“We are working as hard as we can that [Latin] stays alive and one big part of that is to get the kids in there and make the language alive for them, to grab hold of things that interest them,” Sharp said.

The results for all of the WJCC participants are listed below. Students were separated into competition categories based on the most recent level of Latin coursework completed.


Berkeley Middle School

  • Kaitlyn Baker – 6th place chart, 4th place Modern Myth,
  • Jordan Greenspon – 8th place Modern Myth, 7th place Roman life test
  • John O’Neill – 8th place cartoon, 4th place Modern Myth
  • Niko Orginos – 7th place Modern Myth, 9th place elementary derivatives test, 9th place elementary vocabulary test
  • Nicholaus Paxton-Turner – 8th place large model, 6th place sculpture
  • Melody Saldana – 9th place Roman life test
  • Hannah Weiss – 1st place reading comprehension I, 1st place Modern Myth, 8th place photography, 6th place small model, 8th place Geography test, 5th place elementary vocabulary test
  • Shonta Wright – 5th place chart, 2nd place poster, 3rd place ornament

Hornsby Middle School

  • Jordan McLeod – 9th place pencil drawing. 2nd place costume, 1st place Modern Myth
  • Gracie Dry – 9th place Modern Myth, 7th place mosaic, 3rd place storytelling.
  • Annabelle Kelley – 6th place storytelling, 6th place doll, 5th place greeting card, 4th place costume, 2nd place Modern Myth

Toano Middle School

  • Peyton Bowie – 5th place Modern Myth, 8th place other media, 5th place life test, 10th place vocabulary test
  • Olivia Garrett – 1st place other media, 7th place life test, 3rd place mythology test, 8th place vocabulary test
  • Skylar Hackett – 10th place Modern Myth, 10th place sculpture, 6th place life test
  • Ashleigh Route – 4th place watercolor, 9th place sculpture, 3rd place life test
  • Dylan Settle – 2nd place Modern Myth, 5th place Pentathlon Test
  • Devon Southard – 9th place history test

Jamestown High School

  • Brittany Hicks – 6th place in storytelling

Lafayette High School

  • Hailey Botkins – 6th place literature test, 1st place Modern Myth, 7th place dramatic interpretation, 9th place storytelling
  • John Patterson – 7th place literature test, 8th place vocabulary test, 6th place Modern Myth, 7th place dramatic interpretation
  • Ben Petrakis – 4th place Modern Myth, 9th place pencil drawing, 6th place child’s book
  • Elim Utterback – 2nd place Modern Myth