Christine Rath, Interim Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 14, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Exeter High School Students Compete In Classical League Forum
EXETER — Exeter High School students challenged their knowledge of the Latin language, as well as Roman and Greek history during the fourth annual New Hampshire Junior Classical League Forum.
Held at Philips Exeter Academy on April 14, 11 students and Latin teacher Emily Ellis attended the event with 10 other schools from New Hampshire and Vermont. The friendly competition was designed to foster learning and pair participants with their peers from around the region to engage in activities and contests.
Students donned period costumes and competed in events like a chariot race — where each team of three (one rider and two to pull the wooden wagon) complete two laps in a series of heats to determine a final round and eventual winner — and a gladiatorial combat.
The latter event featured four rounds of pairs competing at once. To win, students had to touch their opponent twice with a fake sword. Sophomore Noah Robinson and senior Weston Su made it to the final round, coming just short of winning.
Robinson and sophomore Andrew McElroy did however defeat their opponents in “Labble” (Latin Scrabble), which takes the general rules of the board game and slightly modifies them to allow certain consonants to be interchanged and replaced to accommodate Latin spellings.
Students also partook in academic contests and a certamen — a classics quiz bowl where teams go up against each other to answer questions on the Latin language, Roman history and culture and classical mythology.
Participants had the opportunity to show off their school spirit and love for the classics through scripted dialogues and choreographed dances. Exeter High School students performed “The story of the Mythical Blue Hawk,” which was recited in classical myth form (by a narrator), while other students acted out the various characters.
In the story, Greek God Zeus needed a bird to help deliver an important message. Various birds, portrayed by students, failed to complete the task for various reasons, until the Blue Hawk, which is also Exeter High School’s mascot, came along. The bird used its companions to deliver the message, following its “hawks fly together” mentality, which is the unofficial motto of EHS.
“Every year students have a great time at the classical forum,” Ellis said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to use what they learn in the classroom in a fun and engaging competition, and also meet students from other districts who love the same subjects.”