Eighteen Huntington High School students laid it on the line and turned in impressive performances on this year’s National French Exam, formally known as Le Grand Concours.
Foreign language teacher Deidre Mayer annually encourages her students to challenge themselves by taking the national test since she joined Huntington’s faculty in 2000. This year, 18 students responded to her call.
Over the years Madame Mayer, as she is affectionately referred to by her students, has seen many of her protégés win top honors in both the national French and Latin exams.
Le Grand Concours is an annual contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students of French in grades 1-12 take the written test and compete against their counterparts with similar educational background for prizes. Participants come from all 50 states and abroad. Students enter the competition through their respective French teachers. All students of French are eligible.
A graduate of Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, Mrs. Mayer studied for an undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke and Barnard College of Columbia University, carrying a major in French and minor in Latin. The veteran educator obtained a master’s degree at New York University in French language and civilization.
Nine of Huntington’s 18 participants earned honors this year. “I am so excited, particularly for Aidan and Thomas, the two in my independent study [class],” Mrs. Mayer said. It just goes to show ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ I’m so proud of all my kids!”
Huntington’s top performers included: (Note: Some students had identical scores and tied for placement.)
• Level 2: Paul Katigbak placed fourth in Suffolk and sixth nationally.
• Level 2: Andrew Knowles placed seventh in Suffolk and ninth nationally.
• Level 2: Julien Rentsch placed seventh in Suffolk and ninth nationally.
• Level 2: Eunice Ramos placed ninth in Suffolk and 11th nationally.
• Level 2: Kelly Alvarez Alfaro placed tenth in Suffolk and 12th nationally.
• Level 2c: Alice Bradford placed third in Suffolk and fifth nationally.
• Level 4: Thomas Edgar McNerney placed eighth in Suffolk and 16th nationally.
• Level 4: Aidan McCooey placed eighth in Suffolk and 16th nationally.
• Level 4: Max Robins placed ninth in Suffolk and 17th nationally.
Huntington students have been winning honors for their scores on the national exam for many years and this year’s participants have successfully carried on the sensational tradition of their predecessors.