Westminster Academy students in Latin I and II recently took the National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League. The exams were scored and ranked, and all students who scored above the national average were awarded one of four prizes depending on their performance. The awards are Gold Medal (Summa Cum Laude), Silver Medal (Maxima Cum Laude), Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude.
Of the 56 Westminster students who took the exam, 40 were awarded with an honor for high acheivement. That’s over 70% of the students tested!
These phenomenal scores are the results of years of learning Latin fundamentals in the Grammar School, continued education in language mechanics in the Middle School French program, and the students’ diligent and rigorous study of Latin in high school.
While we are extremely proud of our students’ success, “our program is designed for more than scoring well on a test,” said Conner Davis, Upper School Latin teacher. “The purpose of studying Latin, especially in a classical education, is to show students the beauty of written and spoken word, and to teach students how language works so that they can apply this understanding to learning new languages, reading great literature, and writing their own works. Since Latin in particular is beautifully and logically structured, immersion in this language shapes the students’ minds towards orderly, sound writing and speaking, thereby reinforcing our logic and rhetoric curriculum.
“Furthermore, Latin has been a primary literary language throughout much of the history of the Church and Western Civilization,” Mr. Davis continued. “By studying Latin, students are equipped to explore great works in their original language, as they were meant to be read. In doing so, they can draw wisdom more deeply from these authors and thinkers of the past.”
The individual awards were as follows:
Gold Medal, Summa Cum Laude
Silver Medal, Maxima Cum Laude
Mary Blake Fletcher
Magna Cum Laude