Students Attend Junior Classical League Latin Competition

Evie Kwei

Greenhill Upper School students recently attended the Area C Junior Classical League (JCL) Competition, with high levels of success across multiple events.

JCL is an annual competition where students can compete in a multitude of events ranging from Mythology to Vocal Ensemble. Over the past couple of years, Greenhill has entered students into many different events.

Following two years of virtual participation through Zoom, students were finally able to attend JCL in person. This year, Area C JCL was hosted at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. Students were able to mingle with each other in between events, heading back towards normal convention spirit.

“This year, it’s absolutely renewing, to get to be in the presence of people whom we respect, and love, and are building friendships with,” said Upper School Latin Teacher and Modern and Classical Languages Chair Laura Hudec. “That’s what JCL is really all about.”

With interactions between students from different schools being a large part of the competition, the absence of those relationships made the competition less personable.

“It was fun to see what everybody did during their downtime between events, like just goofing off, and having fun, which was really cool,” said senior Shruti Siva, who received first place in both Latin Derivatives and Mottoes/Abbreviations.

Hudec announced the results in an email to Greenhill Upper School families.

“I’m incredibly proud of the students,” Hudec said. “I’m always encouraged by our leadership and the love that our leaders have for JCL.”

Out of the 21 students who attended, 11 won first place in at least one event, ranging from Classical Art to Greek Derivatives. The Advanced Certamen team, comprised of senior Emily Ding; juniors Khushi Chhaya, Nikitha Thoduguli and Hannah Zhou; freshman Varun Mukund, advanced to the finals. Certamen is a quiz-bowl-style competition where members answer questions about various Latin, Greek and classical civilizations.

“It was really fun, and we didn’t expect to actually get to finals,” said Ding, captain of the Certamen team. “We actually hobbled our team together the day of!”

Siva and Ding both serve on the Texas State JCL Board, as Webmaster and Editor respectively. Members of the Board plan the state-level convention, manage the contests and run the website and social media accounts.

“I made the website, and I update it regularly,” said Siva about her involvement on the Board. “I’m also in charge of various other tech things like email handovers and general help with like accounts.”

Many of these students have qualified for the TSJCL State Competition, held in San Antonio at Alamo Heights HS, on April 8-10. The full list of recognized students is below.


Special Recognition:
Rachel Wegener, who volunteered both in the Art Registration/Judging and Certamen sections
Our Advanced Certamen team advanced to Finals, among very competitive groups:  Khushi Chhaya ‘23, Emily Ding ‘22, Varun Mukund ‘25, Nikitha Thoduguli ‘23, and Hannah Zhou ‘23
Our Intermediate Certamen Team competed eagerly:  Maya Desai ‘24, McKenna Higgins ‘24, and Emily Hu ‘24

Latin II
Maya Desai ’24 – Traditional Photography, 2nd place; Greek Derivatives, 3rd place; Intermediate Certamen Team
McKenna Higgins ‘24 – Roman Life, 1st Place; Oil/Acrylics, 7th place; Intermediate Certamen Team
Emily Hu ’24 – Greek Derivatives, 1st place; Intermediate Certamen Team

Latin III
Oliver Burke ’25 – Roman Life, 9th place
Shreya Chhaya ’25 – Mottoes/Abbreviations, 2nd place; Greek Derivatives, 3rd place
Fern Hignite ’25 – Roman Life, 1st place
Aria Kutty ‘25 – Classical Art, 1st place; Mottoes/Abbreviations, 4th place
Varun Mukund ’25 – Greek Derivatives, 1st place; Mythology, 6th place
Brynn Zawadski ’25 – Sight Recitation, 5th place; Vocabulary, 8th place
Sherry Zhang ’25 – Greek Life and Literature, 2nd place; Roman Life, 3rd place

Latin IV
Reyna Diamond ’24 – Mottoes/Abbreviations, 2nd place; Ancient Geography and Monuments, 3rd place
Emily Ding ’22 – Classical Art, 1st place; Roman Life, 1st place; Advanced Certamen Finals
Pooja Sanghvi ’24 – Sight Recitation, 2nd place; Greek Life and Literature, 5th place
Natalie Stachowiak ‘24– Vocal Ensemble, 1st place; Vocal Solo (high), 2nd place; Greek Derivatives, 4th place; Mythology, 7th place
Tayce Thomas ‘24 – Classical Art, 2nd place; Greek Derivatives, 5th place
Hannah Zhou ’23 – Greek Derivatives, 1st place; Latin Oratory, 1st place; Advanced Certamen Finals

Latin V+
Khushi Chhaya ‘23 – Greek History, 2nd place; Monochromatic Drawing, 4th place; Advanced Certamen Finals
Nikitha Thoduguli ‘23 – Vocabulary, 1st place; Traditional Photography, 1st place; Latin Derivatives, 2nd place; Advanced Certamen Finals
Madison Rojas ’23 – Sight Recitation, 2nd place; Dramatic Interpretation, 6th place
Shruti Siva ’22 – Latin Derivatives, 1st place; Mottoes/Abbreviations, 1st place
Aimee Stachowiak ’22 – Vocal Ensemble, 1st place; English Oratory, 1st place; Mythology, 2nd place; Vocal Solo (high), 3rd place; Greek Derivatives, 4th place