Catrina Wilson leads Oxford Hills Latin scholars to assembly at the Maine Junior Classical League Spring Convention at Camp Mechuwana in Winthrop, Maine. (David Dyke)

PARIS — The phrase “Latin convention” may not immediately call to mind associations with “fun” or “excitement,” especially for busy high schoolers. However, in late May, 21 students from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School attended precisely such an event, as the founding members of a local chapter of the Junior Classical League (JCL).

At this overnight, Latin-centric extravaganza – the annual Maine JCL Spring Convention – OH students engaged in a variety of activities and contests, from Certamen, a Jeopardy-like quiz game, to various Olympics-inspired competitions, to a multitude of school-spirit rallies featuring costumes, choreography, and copious cacophony

OH’s newly-minted club had a strong showing at this year’s convention despite an already competitive and well-established field. OH Latin scholars took home ribbons in 26 events, in addition to receiving trophies for top-five finishes in Intermediate and Advanced Latin Certamen.

Highlights included Brody Edwards taking third in Latin Sight-Reading, Sadie Hooker and Catrina Wilson both finishing in second for Mythology, and Alexi Knight as well as Audrey Tucker each placing third for Advanced Poetry and Roman Life, respectively.

Halle James had a strong individual performance, taking first in the Short Dash and second in Roman History. Owen Orlando dazzled as a homesick Ithacan, leading a star-studded ensemble cast to the podium for its rendition of “Odysseus and the Sirens.”

Seniors Kristina Wilson and Audrey Tucker brought JCL to OH as part of their senior project: a generous parting gift that will keep on giving. Though the club began the year small, it has proven mighty under its strong leadership. OH’s little Latin club is poised for growth, and students already have their sights set on 2020.

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