Marist Latin Students Shine in the National Spotlight
Five Marist School Latin students in the Junior Classical League (JCL) club represented the Georgia delegation at the 2023 National JCL Convention hosted by Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia from July 23-28. Marist students finished in the top five throughout the week’s tournaments. Competition areas included academics, creative arts, graphic arts, and more. Additionally, freshman Irene Kim was awarded the 2023 Julia K. Petrino Award in recognition of her dedication, discipline, and love of classics.
Highlights of the national JCL convention events included the 1,250 students who celebrated the classics through academic and athletic contests, workshops, games, rallies, and fellowship. Marist students added their voices to the large and boisterous Georgia delegation hosting the event and won the top spirit award.
In his second trip to the national convention, Georgia JCL Webmaster Andrew Albright ’24 earned an award in graphic arts (small model) and first place in the 800-meter run, in addition to his service as webmaster. This role called for him to lead and organize the Georgia delegation, consisting of 123 students. Albright also serves as Marist’s JCL co-president.
Other standout showings included junior Cole Saunders’ first place finish in the 2.6-mile distance run and second place finish in the 800-meter run. Freshman and Marist JCL Editor Taylor Leigh Hartwell’s watercolor of Dionysus showed her love of mythology as well as her artistic talent. The Georgia delegation bestowed a spirit award upon sophomore Ryan Akin, Marist JCL parliamentarian, for his “contagious exuberance” during the convention activities.
Irene Kim ’27, Marist JCL historian, placed first on Latin vocabulary Level 1/2 & 1 and in the top five in overall creative arts for her dramatic interpretation performance. In addition, she helped the Georgia novice certamen team reach semifinals in the trivia-like academic battle of classical facts and knowledge.
Also in July, Kim was named the 2023 Julia K. Petrino Award recipient for middle schoolers who demonstrate excellence in the study and love of classics. She was chosen as one of two winners in a year of unprecedented nationwide nominees and will receive a $500 savings bond. Kim not only earned the prestigious award in recognition of her accomplishments in the study of classics, but also for her passion for the subject.
In her award nomination of Kim, Marist Latin teacher and JCL moderator Dr. Anne Washington Saunders said, “Irene is truly an exceptional student—one of a handful in my career—and relishes tough challenges and achievements. But her greatest gifts are the spark and confidence that she brings to those around her. She radiates joy and enthusiasm for learning. Every class with her has an electrical current running through it, making the teacher’s work easier.”
Amy Mason, chair of the Excellence Through Classics (ETC) awards committee, also recognized Dr. Saunders for “fostering such an incredible student.” Dr. Saunders’ fervor for the subject shines through in the evident impact it has on her students, who exude a tangible passion for the study of classics.
As the 2023-2024 academic year begins, we commend the students in the Marist JCL for their accomplishments on the national level this summer, which serve as a testament to their dedication and hard work. Their achievements not only showcase their proficiency in the classics, but also exemplify the tradition of excellence that defines Marist School. We eagerly anticipate the continued growth and impactful contributions our students will undoubtedly make throughout the upcoming year.