Latin students show spirit and knowledge at annual Latin convention


Ilia Mikhailenko, freshman, Jake Schmidman, and Alexander Cai, sophomores, show school spirit at the Wisconsin Junior Classical League convention.

Fifty three Homestead Latin students attended the 62nd Annual Wisconsin Junior Classical League (WJCL) Convention that was held at the Park Hotel in Madison from Jan. 30 – Feb. 1. Homestead students took second place in spirit and first place in the qualitative category meaning Homestead had the highest average points per person out of all the participating schools.

The WJCL encourages students to take an interest in the language, literature, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. At the convention, delegates take tests on various topics such as Roman history, mythology, and mottos. Additionally, schools compete in activities such as Certamen and spirit contests. Certamen is a quiz-bowl style game about Latin and Greek topics. The two spirit themes this year were “rock ‘n roll” and “memes”.

Avery Bersell, junior, enjoys the dress-up themes. Bersell serves as secretary on the Homestead Latin Club board. “Spirit is definitely one of my favorite parts because we do so many cheers. It’s so fun seeing all the other schools go crazy and dressing up as part of the theme,” Bersell said.

In addition to tests and spirit competitions, delegates elect WJCL board members for the coming year. This year, Livi Patel, sophomore, was elected as historian for the WJCL board. “The WJCL is so much more than just a club revolving around a language, it is a family that I am so glad to be apart of. As an officer on the WJCL State Board, I’d love to see new faces at upcoming events and conventions. You will not regret the camaraderie you will find in the WJCL,” Patel said.

Bella Cicero, senior, is the president of Latin Club at Homestead. Cicero is in charge of organizing and running meetings. “Latin convention is a very unique experience because there are no other languages that host similar events,” Cicero said.

Elizabeth Foster, senior, serves as the editor for the National Junior Classical League. As editor, Foster composes the quarterly publication of Torch: U.S., a magazine that discusses Latin related topics. Foster sees immense value in the WJCL convention. “No matter their strengths, students can find a community to showcase their talents and build friendships with people fom across the state,” Foster said.

For many, the WJCL convention has become a favorite annual tradition. Ariel Leykin, senior, has attended the convention for the last four years. “The energy and experience gets better each year because I’ve gotten to know people from around the state. There are so many fun personalities and it’s always great to see everyone again,” Leykin said.