Illinois Junior Classical League

Report from National Junior Classical League 2001

from Ginny Anderson

Sixty-three Latin students and teachers, the Illinois delegation, spent the week of July 16-23, 2001 under the shade trees of Tulane University, New Orleans, as they participated in the annual National Junior Classical League Convention.

Designed for students by students, the convention encompasses many different activities (all devoted to Latin, of course) including competition in academics, sports, creative and graphic arts. From the opening gavel, the Illinois delegates jumped into the fray as they began their individual challenges. Ribbons were ceremoniously distributed at an assembly during the final day of convention.

A thread running throughout the week’s festivities was SPIRIT. Latin students have plenty of it, but they are not used to screaming about it daily for fifteen minutes straight! Capturing the judges’ eyes during spirit competition is difficult in an auditorium full of nearly two thousand teenagers. Illinois put its best face on as it came in second among all the participating states in its show of unity, enthusiasm, and creativity. The neon green tee-shirts of State T-Shirt Day gave way to the purple and gold sashes of Toga Day. As the students cheered wildly, there was lots of laryngitis by week’s end!

The prize winning Illinois delegation boasted students from St. Ignatius High School, Barrington High School, Elgin High School, Larkin High School, Springfield High School, Jones Magnet School, Loyola Academy, Lyons Township High School, and Barrington Middle School.

On the college level, Illinois is proud to have three officers on the board of the National Senior Classical League. In their annual election, collegiates voted in Ryan Rumppe as vice president, Paul Parks as Parliamentarian, and Jennifer Jordt as Historian. These students were honored to assume these new roles of responsibility as they continue to serve the Illinois delegation as chaperones and models for the young classicists.

Latin teachers who came along for the week included state chairs Lanetta Warrenburg and Ginny Anderson, as well as Laurie Jolicoeur of Lyons Township High School, Maureen Toner of Jones Magnet High School/Academy , Jennifer Schuler of Notre Dame High School in Niles, and Melinda Cooper of Naperville Central.

Does any of this sound as if it could inject a major shot of energy into your own Latin program? The National and Illinois Junior Classical League invite you to share in the marvelous, well-planned activities at a minuscule cost to you and your students. Perhaps next year’s convention, to be held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, will include even more delegates from our great state.

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