Veni, vidi, vici: Students win Latin, mythology honors

Latin award winners include, from the left, teacher Ronna Bartel, Emma Scotthanson, Kyli DeMers, Olivia Saul, Ryan Wenzek and Thorin Helmersen.  -
Latin award winners include, from the left, teacher Ronna Bartel, Emma Scotthanson, Kyli DeMers, Olivia Saul, Ryan Wenzek and Thorin Helmersen.
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The Latin students at Island Christian Academy have earned above-average scores for their participation in the National Latin Exam and the National Mythology Exam.

Students in Ronna Bartel’s fifth-and-sixth grade Latin class prepared for the National Mythology Exam both in and out of class.

“My students really enjoy the enrichment that mythology adds to their Latin studies. Often they will read a myth and instantly recognize it from a story they are reading at home or from a movie they have seen, and they get so excited,” Bartel said.

The Athena Gold Award of Excellence was presented to Natalie Wilmoth for her perfect score of 100.

Silver medallions were presented to Kieran Birchfield, Izzy Bolding, Robby Roberts, Gracie McGill and Christian Nance.

Earning bronze medallions were Rachel Helmersen, Chris King and Megan Nance. The National Mythology Exam is sponsored by the Excellence through Classics Program for elementary and middle levels. Its purpose is to motivate students to learn about classical mythology and literature.

Bartel’s seventh and eighth grade Latin class took the National Latin Exam. Students were tested on their ability to read and comprehend a Latin passage, their knowledge of Latin grammar, the civilization of Rome and mythology, and their ability to recognize original Latin sayings and phrases from everyday life. For example, “E Pluribus Unum” is found on our coins and means “one out of many.”

“Once you begin to learn Latin roots and phrases, you begin to notice them everywhere,” Bartel said. Mythology award winners include, front row, Gracie McGill, Kieran Birchfield, Natalie Wilmoth and Christian Nance. In back are Chris King, Izzy Bolding, Megan Nance, Rachel Helmersen and Robby Roberts.

Certificates of achievement were awarded to seventh graders Payton Gravley, Kyli DeMers, and Emma Scotthanson and a certificate of outstanding achievement to Ryan Wenzek. Bartel said congratulations also go to eighth graders Olivia Saul who earned a Magna Cum Laude certificate and Thorin Helmersen for earning a Cum Laude certificate. The National Latin Exam is sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Students at Island Christian Academy begin their Latin study in grade three, but even the kindergartners are exposed to basic phrases and words.

“Latin is a mental discipline that trains the mind much like sports does for the body,” Bartel said. “Latin teaches students to think systematically and logically and that carries over into their other subjects. Latin teaches vocabulary and roots, and since half of our English language comes from Latin it prepares students for occupations in science, medicine, law, theology and the social sciences.”

She added, “Latin teaches students how to better understand English grammar and also prepares them to learn a modern language such as Spanish or French, which are both derived from Latin. Latin also increases student SAT scores.”

“I love teaching Latin because it benefits my students in so many ways,” Bartel said.

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