Finley Scores on French & Italian National Exams

Excited eighth grade Le Grand Concours participants.

August 15, 2016

J. Taylor Finley Middle School students are always up for an academic challenge, even when it comes in a different language.

Fifty-five Finley seventh and eighth graders took the national French and Italian exams this pa
st spring and their teacher Dr. Gina Marie Molvaut was thrilled with the results.
This year marked the first time both exams were given in a digital format. The Finley students took the tests in the school’s computer lab. Prior to each of the exams students attended a three hour after-school preparation session. “We spent time getting familiar with the new computerized exam and the students worked together completing practice tests,” Dr. Molvaut said.

Finley’s participation in the national exam initiative hit a nine-year high this spring as 17 seventh graders and 13 eighth graders sat for Le Grand Concours (the name given to the national French exam) and 25 eighth graders took the national Italian exam. “Once again, Finley was able to maintain its tradition of students ranking nationally on these exams,” Dr. Molvaut said.

The national exams offer students an opportunity to expand their language skills in a broader context. “By participating in the French or Italian competition, our students are connecting with our nation’s Francophone and Italophone communities,” Dr. Molvaut said. 

Two-time National Italian Exam
honoree Carmine De Ieso.

Le Grand Concours is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. More than 85,000 students from all 50 states and many foreign countries participated in the exam, which is a premier event for those in grades 1-12 who are studying French.

Highlights for Finley’s Le Grand Concours participants include:

Seventh grade:

• Gemma Pellegrini and Grace Kenny both scored in the 90th percentile despite it being only the first time they have taken the national exam.
• Ms. Pellegrini participated in the multilingual division and ranked seventh in Suffolk and 16th in the nation.
• Ms. Kenny ranked eighth in Suffolk and 17th in the nation.

Eighth grade:

• Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez was Finley’s high scorer ranking fifth in the county and sixth nationally (90th percentile).
• Alice Bradford participated in the multilingual division and ranked seventh in the county and eighth in the nation (90th percentile).
• Eunice-Bonita Ramos and Paul Katigbak ranked seventh in the county and eighth in the nation. (90th percentile).
• Andrew Knowles ranked 10th in the county and 11th in the nation.
• Julien Rentsch, Lia Shechter and Sabrina Garcia all received honorable mention recognition for their fine performance.

Sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the national Italian exam drew participation from 5,200 students from 20 states and Puerto Rico.

Highlights for Finley’s national Italian exam participants include:
• In the multi-lingual division Carmine De Ieso (10th), Anyi Matute (14th) and Stephanie Bardales (19th) all notched top scores.
• Natalie Furman (12th) and Charles O'Rourke (18th) were among the top students on Long Island who took the exam.

Depending on which exam they sat for, the Finley students received either a Certificat de Mérite or a Certificato di Partecipazione. Those ranked in the top ten were invited to attend the AATF-Suffolk chapter awards ceremony at Half Hollow Hills High School East. Dr. Molvaut joined in the fun at the awards gathering.

Finley’s 55 national exam participants included:

Le Grand Concours: Seventh grade

Katie Bonilla, Mia Brown, Jessica Erhardt, Joeneill Feliciano-Lopez, Ethan Franciscovich, Lauren Gooding, Grace Gray, Rebecca Hoffmann, John Holly, Grace Kenny, Sasha Koulakova, Catherine McCooey, Gemma Pellegrini, Thomas Rosselli, Miles Thierney, Ashley Visser, Riley Zink.

Le Grand Concours: Eighth grade

Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez, Hannah Avidor, Joshua Avidor, Josefina Fasolino, Estrella Flores, Sabrina Garcia, Paul Katigbak, Andrew Knowles, Madelyne Kye, John O'Brien, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Eunice-Bonita Ramos, Julien Rentsch, Lia Shechter, Alice Bradford.

National Italian Exam: Eighth grade

Jeffrey Garcia, Nicholas Kretschmer, Matthew Girimonti,Carolina Carrello, Carmine DeIeso, Stephanie Bardales, Keenan Lyons, Beanna Cumella, Brooke Biernacki, Anyi Mancia-Matute, Jose Segovia, Cole Pillion, Claudia Villatoro, Caroline Hartough, Patrick Sclafani, Christiana Maceluch, John Lourenso, Ryan Miller, Luca Perna, Markos Palios, Charles Forte, Charles O'Rourke, Jeremy Ramos, Natalie Furman, Lena Annunziata.

Finley's eighth grade national exam award recipients.
Seventh grade award winners Gemma Pellegrini and Grace Kenny.
Teacher Gina Molvaut with her awardes ceremony.
Two-time National Italian Exam honoree Carmine De Ieso.