Huntington High School students turned in an impressive performance on this year’s National French Exam, formally known as Le Grand Concours.
Foreign language teacher Deidre Mayer has annually encouraged her students to challenge themselves by taking the national test since she joined Huntington’s faculty in 2000. This year, 21 students responded to her call.
Over the years the teacher, affectionately known as Madame Mayer to her students, has seen several of her protégés win top honors in both the national French and Latin exams, LI Language Teachers Assn. competitions and Competitions and American Assn. of Teachers of French poetry recitation contest.
Le Grand Concours is an annual contest sponsored by the AATF. Students of French in grades 1-12 take the now computerized test and compete against their counterparts with similar educational backgrounds 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.
Sixteen of Huntington’s 21 participants earned honors this year. “I’ve never had such great success before,” Mrs. Mayer said. “Almost every student who took the incredibly difficult exam was recognized and I couldn’t be prouder of their success.” The students were feted at an awards ceremony in Dix Hills, garnering plaques and medals as a memento of their success and in recognition of their hard earned studies of French language and culture.
The top performers included:
Level 2A (9th grade)
- Katie Bonilla: Honorable mention recognition for placing 15 th in Suffolk and 22 nd nationally
- Lauren Gooding: Honorable mention recognition for placing 18 th in Suffolk and 25 th nationally
- Rebecca Hoffmann: Bronze medal for placing 11 th in Suffolk and 18 th nationally
- Grace Kenny: Silver medal for placing 5 th in Suffolk and 12 th nationally
- Gemma Pellegrini: Silver medal for placing 8 th in Suffolk and 15 th nationally
Level 3A (10th grade)
- Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez: Bronze medal for placing 7 th in Suffolk and 20 th nationally
- Eunice Bonita-Ramos: Bronze medal for placing 6 th in Suffolk and 19 th nationally
- Paul Katigbak: Honorable mention recognition for placing 17 th in Suffolk and 30 th nationally
- Andrew Knowles: Bronze medal for placing 6 th in Suffolk and 19 th nationally
- Madelyn Kye: Honorable mention recognition for placing 18 th in Suffolk and 31 st nationally
- Adam Neber: Honorable mention recognition for placing 13 th in Suffolk and 26 th nationally
- Diya Rai-Gersappe: Honorable mention recognition for placing 18 th in Suffolk and 31 st nationally
- Julien Rentsch: Honorable mention recognition for placing 17 th in Suffolk and 30 th nationally
Level 3C (10th grade)
- Alice Bradford: Silver medal for placing 4 th in Suffolk and 16 th nationally
Level 4A (11th grade)
- Isabellarose Malone: Bronze medal for placing 8 th in Suffolk and 17 th nationally
Level 5 (12th grade)
- Aidan McCooey: Bronze medal for placing 7 th in Suffolk and 15 th nationally
In a remarkable display of consistency and excellence, Mr. McCooey placed among the top ten on his French level every year from grades 7-12.
Huntington students have been winning honors for their scores on the national exam for many years and this year’s test-takers have managed to build upon the exceptional tradition of their predecessors.