Williston Language Students Earn High Honors

Latin and French award winners flanked by Language Department Head Beatrice Cody and French teacher Susan Michalski

Parlez-vous français? Tu Latine loquimur? 你会说中文吗? The answer to these three questions is a resounding, “Oui!” “Ita!” and “是!” when it comes to Williston students, who took top scores in national language exams recently, netting them awards in French, Latin, and Chinese.

French Awards

Nearly 80,000 students nationwide participated in Le Grand Concours National French Contest. The following students placed at the national level and regional chapter level (for Western Massachusetts and Vermont):

LEVEL 1A (French I)
Steven Wang ’20: Sixth place in Western Massachusetts and Vermont chapter, ninth in nation
Ariel Yen ’19: Seventh place in regional chapter, 10th in nation
Madhav Ambadi ’20: Seventh place in regional chapter, 10th in nation
Michelle Tu ’20: Ninth place in regional chapter
Kate Quimby ’19: Ninth place in regional chapter

LEVEL 2A (French II Honors)
Anya Rozario ’20: Ninth place in regional chapter, ninth in nation

LEVEL 3A (French III Honors)
Claire Harrison ’19: Eighth place in regional chapter

LEVEL 4A (French V Honors)
Tayah Sommer ’19: Eighth place in regional chapter

LEVEL 5A (AP French Language)
Trixie Willems ’19: Seventh place in regional chapter
Anna Willinsky ’17: 10th place in regional chapter
Alara Akisik ’17: 10th place in regional chapter

Latin Awards

Approximately 150,000 students from 50 states and 15 countries sat for the 2017 National Latin Exam. The following students received awards in honor of their success on the exam.

The following students earned a Certificate of Honorable Merit CUM LAUDE:

In Level II, Kenneth Wang ’20

In Level IV, Anabelle Farnham ’18

The following students earned a Certificate of Honorable Merit MAGNA CUM LAUDE:

In Level I, Graham Allardyce ’19

In Level II, Julia Farnham ’20 and  Dylan Fulcher-Melendy ’20

In Level III, Eric Albanese ’20 and DJ Poulin ’19

 The following student earned a Silver Medal, MAXIMA CUM LAUDE:

In Level III, Jason Albanese ’20

 With his flawless performance on the National Latin Exam this student earned a Gold Medal, SUMMA CUM LAUDE, and Perfect Paper award for the third year in a row:

In Level II, Nathaniel Markey ’20

Chinese Awards

Chinese Honor Society inductees, with Chinese teacher Rita Plouffe and Beatrice Cody (at right)

Chinese IV and AP students were inducted into membership of the National Chinese Honor Society. The National Chinese Honor Society is a scholastic organization that promotes and recognizes students who demonstrate citizenship, leadership, and community service.

The inductees received a NCHS pin and certificate. Inductees who completed the school’s Chinese program also received an NCHS Cord which will be worn at their graduation ceremony. After the ceremony a celebratory dumpling-making party was held. Simon Kim was elected president and Josh Calianos, vice president of the society.

The inductees are:

Chinese 4
Josh Calianos ’18, Sabrina Liew ’18, Simon Kim ’19, Karen Janocha ’19, and Caleb Stern ’19

Chinese AP
Francois Kaeppelin ’17, Sabrina Shao ’19, and Matthew Nguyen ’18

Congratulations, toutes nos félicitations, gratulationes, and 祝贺 to our hard-working language students!

BuzzFeed Managing Editor Kate Nocera ’01 Speaks to Williston Journalism Class

With the aid of Skype, Matt Liebowitz’s journalism class spoke to Kate Nocera ’01, from her Washington, D.C., office where she’s managing editor of BuzzFeed News. Last Friday, as Republicans in Congress were about to invoke the “nuclear option” to facilitate the confirmation of Pres. Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Nocera took a break from the hectic day to answer questions from students.

Ava Yates ’17 asked Nocera about her involvement in journalism while she was a student at Williston. Nocera answered that she was more about fiction writing then. Ellie Wolfe ’19 asked if sources took BuzzFeed seriously. Cat jokes aside, Nocera responded, readers respect the award-winning international coverage BuzzFeed provides (this year the site was nominated for a Pulitzer for international reporting). Mr. Liebowitz asked how she got her start. Nocera described her beginnings in journalism as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News covering cops, courts, and school committee meetings. Continue reading

Williston Delegates Receive Awards at Model UN Conference

Keyu Lu '20, Sophie Little '19, Josh Calianos '18, and Reilly Gluz '19 after the Model UN meet
Keyu Lu ’20, Sophie Little ’19, Josh Calianos ’18, and Reilly Gluz ’19 after the Model UN meet

A Model UN conference at Choate Rosemary Hall last weekend considered the topic of nuclear vulnerability. History and global studies teacher Andrew Syfu took 25 Williston students to the meet, which addressed subjects such as nuclear nonproliferation, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and nuclear energy and climate change. Four of our delegates received awards, including the best delegate, which is the top honor of the event.  Congratulations!

Sophie Little '19 preps for the conference
Sophie Little ’19 prepped for the conference last week.

Honorable mention delegate

  • Reilly Gluz ’19 (Afghanistan—Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference)
  • Sophie Little ’19 (Armenia—Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference)

Outstanding delegate

  • Keyu Lu ’20 (Australia—Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference for beginners)

Best delegate

  • Josh Calianos ’18 (India—United Nations Security Council on the Iran Nuclear Deal)

Math Students Head to Yale University for Competition

Mathletes get ready for the competition at Yale.
Mathletes get ready for the competition at Yale.

Twelve Williston Mathletes headed to Yale University this weekend to participate in the MMATHs competition

The two Williston teams of six competed in individual and team rounds, as well as a round where they worked collaboratively with students from other schools. Williston’s Steven Wang ’20 came in third place out of 140 competitors. Congratulations to all!

Continue reading

Middle Schoolers Dive in to Five College Opportunities

A lararium at the Smith College Museum of Art
A lararium at the Smith College Museum of Art

Recent field trips sent seventh and eighth graders to area colleges to expand on work they were doing in the classroom.

Will Eberle’s eighth grade Latin class visited Mount Holyoke College’s museum to explore its collection of statues of Roman Lares (household gods).

Students designed their own Lares and lararium.
Students designed their own Lares and lararium.

The quotation from Cicero reads, “The most sacred, the most hallowed place on earth is the home of each and every citizen. There are his sacred hearth and his household gods, there the very center of his worship, religion, and domestic ritual.”

Back in the classroom, students went on to create their own Lares and a shrine for them, called a lararium.

Middle School students study fitness data.
Middle School students study fitness data.

All 70 Middle Schoolers traveled to the biomechanics lab at the University of Massachusetts recently to participate in a fitness study with UMass faculty and graduate students. Williston students were actively involved in generating, collecting, and analyzing data that scientists will use to refine our understanding of exercise and health.

“Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary field of study that allowed the students to see real science in action where biology, chemistry, and physics come together to investigate nature and find solutions to problems,” said science teacher Jane Lucia. “We could see and feel from the folks there that science is creative and collaborative, and fun!”

51240444865__77ACBD36-A85B-46F7-A51F-FB34A9FEC9FF.JPGMs. Lucia continued, “The uses of technology were eye-opening. From the special eye visors in the military lab to the life size virtual human cadaver in the anatomy and physiology lab, students experienced how embedded and valuable technology is to the advancement of ideas toward useful applications.”

Students from the Middle School also recently participated in Classics Day at Mount Holyoke College. Read about that here.

Williston Chemistry Olympian Heads to National Competition

Caroline Channell '18, Molly Zawacki '17, Emily Warren '19, Molly Solan '19. Not pictured; Aidan McCreary '19
Caroline Channell ’18, Molly Zawacki ’17, Emily Warren ’19, Molly Solan ’19. Not pictured; Aidan McCreary ’19

Science teacher William Berghoff and five Williston students braved the mid-March snowstorm over spring recess to participate in the Chemistry Olympiad at the University of Massachusetts.

This event brings high school chemistry students from across western New England for a competition that decides the U.S. representatives for the international Olympiad over the summer. Continue reading

Two Williston Students Head to Prestigious Writers Conference

sophia schaefer
Sophia Schaefer ’18 will be attending the New England Young Writers Conference for the second year in a row.

Sophia Schaefer ’18 and Harrison Winrow ’18 have been accepted to the prestigious New England Young Writers Conference at the Bread Loaf campus of Middlebury College. The program accepts a maximum of two students from high schools across the country and takes place May 18-21.

Williston’s English Department Head Sarah Sawyer said the program is “excellent—and selective.” Williston students have gone every year since 2010.

It’s Sophia’s second time attending the conference; she was there last year. “I loved it. I am so excited and happy to be going back,” she said. “You are surrounded by people who love to read and write. It was a liberating experience for me. The conference is like an oasis where I can just focus on writing and reading.” Continue reading

Empowering Girls to Succeed in College

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Anna Wilinsky

At Williston, we strive to help all students develop as thinkers, athletes, artists, and people, but we are especially proud of how we help female students grow into strong, thoughtful, young women, ready to take on college and the world with confidence. In our supportive, yet challenging environment, girls are surrounded by other amazing female students, as well as excellent female teachers, coaches, and dorm parents, who create an environment where young women feel as though they can do anything. Here are three seniors in their final months at Williston, well prepared for what their futures hold. Continue reading

Helping Students Find the Perfect College Fit

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Catherine McGraw, left, and the College Counseling team

Catherine McGraw has been director of the College Counseling office for six months, and in that time, she has made it her mission to expose Williston students in earlier grades to the college-search process. As part of that process, she strives to help students identify a college or university that best fits their unique strengths and interests.

As her first year in this position unfolds, she’s been beyond pleased to witness Williston students meet with success as acceptance letters arrive from Dartmouth, Georgetown, Kenyon, University of Pennsylvania, Vassar, Williams, and many more. Building on that success, she’s instituted new initiatives and continued other tried-and-true programs that provide students and parents what they need to choose the college that fits them best.

“My philosophy emphasizes reflection and self-awareness,” McGraw said. “As students engage in a college search, I want them to feel that they are in the driver’s seat.” Continue reading