March 2017 News

Japanese Speech Contest Results

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Congratulations to Mary Pennington for her work at the Japanese speech contest at the Chicago Japanese Consulate on March 25. She won second place out of the total ten high school students selected to participate from across the Midwest. This year, unlike past years, high school students were grouped into one category regardless of how many years of Japanese study. Therefore she was competing against students who studied Japanese all four years at high school. This is Indiana Academy’s first top ranking in some years, so it is an honor for the Academy and a testimony to Mary’s hard work.

Mary Pennington was selected as one of ten high school students across the Midwest to speak at Chicago’s Japanese Consulate-sponsored speech contest. Mary Pennnington and Van Vandergriff were our entrants this year, and this year more applicants than usual were screened. It is a remarkable achievement with only 2 years of Japanese study, as they were up against students with four years of Japanese study. Mary will be going to Chicago on March 25 to give her speech at the Japanese Consulate.

Van Vandergriff successfully passed Level 4 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in Dec. 2016. The JLPT is an overall Japanese proficiency exam taken for admission to colleges and companies, with JLPT Level 1 being the highest (native speaker). This test is extremely difficult, and although Level 1 is the highest level, Level 4 is approximate to 4 years of Japanese high school study.

On Saturday, Feb. 25, Japanese students also went to DePauw University to participate in the Japan Olympiad of Indiana, a trivial quiz bowl competition on Japanese language and cultural knowledge. This was the Indiana Academy’s first appearance in several years. They faced close to 30 teams from 9 different schools. The teams were divided by level (years) of Japanese study. We had two Level II teams (2nd year students) and one Level III team (Directed Studies students). All of our teams placed into finals, which consisted of the top 3 teams in each level. In an unusual turn of events, our two Level II teams both tied for the finals, and had to face off each other. As a result, our Level II team achieved 2nd place and our Level III team achieved 3rd place.

Level II: Finals runner up
Jenny Thach (team captain)
Emma Elmore
Luke Swartz

Level II: Finals contestants, Second Place
Anthony Phan (team captain)
Gretchen Andreasen
Jack Cook

Level III: Finals contestants, Third Place
Van Vandergriff (team captain)
Mary Pennington
Taylor Hunt