Falls Church Hosts VJCL State Certamen Finals

Adam Ashley, Photo Editor

Over this weekend, Falls Church hosted the Virginia Junior Classical League State Certamen Finals. The Virginia Junior Classical League is a branch of the National JCL, which is a national organization of middle- and high-school classics students. These students are mainly involved through their classics programs, which are expressed through their Latin, and occasionally Greek classes. JCL is one of the largest student-based organizations in the nation, and tons of activities are derived from it, like conventions, board meetings, and Certamen.

Certamen is the Latin word for “competition,” and that is exactly what Certamen is. Certamen consists of three rounds of a Jeopardy-style game, in which there are three teams of four playing. The questions asked are based around the Classics, and can be about language, ancient life, mythology, or more! Players buzz in, and can wn point for their teams. The top three teams from each level (level is based on your level of Latin/Greek, i.e. Latin I, II, III, AP Latin, etc.) compete in the finals round. Teams are eligible to win trophies, and eternal glory is also rewarded to the winners.

FCHS Classical Society, more commonly known as Latin Club, hosted the event with the Virginia Senior Classical League, the parent organization to the VJCL. Volunteers participated from Latin Cub, French Honors Society, National Honor Society, Leadership, and Culinary. Overall, there were almost 100 volunteers to help direct, score, work at registration, and more!

There were appearances by the Virginia Junior Classical League Officers, who are all high school students with a love for the classics. There was also an appearance by Trini Kechkian, a Flint Hill School student who happens to be the National Junior Classical League Second Vice President, an esteemed and coveted position on the board. There were almost 50 teams from schools all around Virginia.

A highlight of this event was that it was the VSCL Certamen Chair, Howard Chang’s, last Certamina before stepping down; he had been the Certamen Chair for 11+ years, and he has helped coordinate a total of 23 Certamina all over the state.

Another highlight of State Finals is, as it being the last of the year before State team tryouts, having all the sponsors say goodbye to their seniors. Tears were shed as FCHS said goodbye to their senior, Bri Avendano, who has tirelessly supported the Latin program since her freshmen year.

Overall, State Certamen Finals were a massive success, and although it has not been finalized, there has been rumor of Falls Church hosting next year.