Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 24
 
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
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"Ils Sont Sensationnels!" PHS Students Excel in French

Linda Arntzenius

In an annual nationwide examination of prowess in the language of Pascal, Descartes, and Madame Curie, not to mention Napoleon, De Gaulle, and Brigitte Bardot, 20 students attending Princeton High School excelled at the state and at the national levels. Winners included a first prize at both national and state levels to beginning French student Emil Jahng.

"Ils sont sensationnels," commented PHS French language teacher Sheila MacRae, congratulating the students who were honored at a mid-day ceremony at the high school on Thursday, June 7, for which members of the school's weekly French club provided refreshments.

The top-scoring students were congratulated by Princeton High School French language teachers: Ms. MacRae, Laurence Thebault, and Malachi Wood; and by Priscilla Russel, chair of world languages for Princeton Regional Schools; and Principal Gary Snyder. Students received certificates and medallions with red, white, and blue ribbons.

One hundred and forty-two students sat for the test at the high school. Twenty took prizes in first to tenth place at the national level and in first to ninth place at the state level.

Listed in order from beginning to advanced level, the students are:

• At level 1A, Emil Jahng ranked first in both the state and in the nation; and Arantzazu Galdo, ranked eighth in both the state and in the nation.

• At level 2A, Carles Boix ranked third in the state and fourth in the nation; Olivia Huang ranked fifth in the state and sixth in the nation; Elizabeth Suttmeier ranked sixth in the state and seventh in the nation; Grace Rosen and Aaron Palmer both ranked seventh in the state and eighth in the nation; and Danielle Dredger ranked ninth in the state and tenth in the nation.

• At level 3A, Joseph Appel ranked third in the state and fourth in the nation; Birgitt Boschitsch ranked fourth in the state and fifth in the nation; Benjamin Danielsson ranked fourth in the state and fifth in the nation; Sarah Kastner-Ziemann ranked fourth in the state and fifth in the nation; Clare Joyce ranked sixth in the state and seventh in the nation; Emily Ullmann ranked seventh in the state and eighth in the nation; Charles Meyer ranked ninth in the state and tenth in the nation.

• At level 4A, Nathalie Levine ranked fourth in the state and seventh in the nation; and Maria Okounava ranked sixth in the state and ninth in the nation.

• At level 5A, Raphaelle Benabou ranked third in the state and fifth in the nation; Ila Nimgaonkar ranked third in the state and fifth in the nation; Aaron Deutsch ranked seventh in the state and ninth in the nation; Dylan Kotliar ranked eighth in the state and tenth in the nation.

This year, 104,155 students of the French language participated nationally; 20, 348 from the New Jersey region.

"French is an international language spoken on all continents," said Ms. Russel. "It provides students with access to a rich literary and scientific tradition of the country that boasts the technology that has produced the TGV, the Airbus and Ariane rockets."

"We are delighted once again at how well Princeton High School students have done in Le Grand Concours," said Ms. MacRae, who noted the close ties between Princeton and its French sister city, Colmar in Alsace. The birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, Colmar has been twinned with Princeton since 1987 and there have been regular student exchanges between the two. If approved by the Board of Education, students from the high school will again travel to Colmar in November and the school will host exchange students from Colmar next April.

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