Valparaiso Schools 2015 Celebrate World Language State and National Awards

JPeszkoThe Valparaiso Middle School World Language department is wrapping up an exciting year filled with achievements for both students and teachers.

Students at Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin scored above and beyond the national average for the National German and National Spanish Exams. Over 4,000 students studying German and more than 40,000 students of Spanish took the 1st year exam nationwide.

Awards are determined by percentile not percentage. For example, students scoring in the 80th percentile performed better than 80% of all students who took the exam.

National German Exam Award percentiles:
90th or higher (Gold Award)
80th – 89th (Silver Award)
70th – 80th (Bronze Award)
50th – 69th (Achievement)

National Spanish Exam Award percentiles:
Above 95th (Premio de Oro-Gold)
85th -94th (Premio de Plata-Silver)
75th-84th (Premio de Bronce-Bronze)
50th -74th (Mención Honor-Honorable Mention)

Benjamin Franklin & Thomas Jefferson Middle Schools Students

Gold: Max Otterbacher, Ayden Bennett
Silver: Jake Green, Hannah Mitchell, Justin Stowers, Wyatt Boyers, Cami Clark
Bronze: Kourtney Collier, Samantha Constantine, Nate Pierce
Achievement: Lorcan Berg-O'Reilly, Bailey Barton, Jarred Craft, Maia Danger, Nate Smith, Melanie Terry

Oro: Maria Castro (99th Percentile among bilinguals nationwide)
Plata: Alysson Farris, Yanoula Georgiadis, Julia Kranjac, Emma Lovett, Kaitlyn Steele
Bronce: Mohammed Aljobeh, Samantha Frey, Emmery Joseph, Alaina Kurt, Daniel Owens, Bianca Thiros, Rina Vasilarakis, Vanessa Del Real
Mención Honor: Julia Arnold, Gracie Ault, Ellie Bezotte, Alexandria Burns, Emma Campolattara, Madeline Cory, Morgan Crook, Quintin Danzi, Max Dedelow, Charlie Douglas-Arnold, Jack Enright, Hannah Falk, Tyler Farney, Bryce Ferguson, Chloe George, Sydney Grenier, Meredith Hansen, Erica Hickman, Samuel Janowiak, Connor Jones, Aspen Lara, Samantha Lawrence, Holly Letnich, Hannah Majka, Molly McGoldrick, Carli Milroy, McKenna Olson, Kyle Reynolds, Abigail Rochford, Sam Stazinski, Natalie Taylor, Colin Walls, Makenzie Ward, Sydney Williams

Our students also cleaned house in the Creative Projects competition at the IFLTA (Indiana Foreign Language Teacher Association) state conference.

Best of Show- Valerie Massey
1st place Models- Ethan Hawke
2nd place Models-Andrew Rhode
1st place Paper Project-Isabel Kaarianen
2nd place Paper Project- Eden Priest
3rd place Poster Contest- Emma Campolattara

Two of our World Language teachers were awarded grants for travel this summer.

Jennifer Raupp, 7th grade Spanish teacher at BFMS, was awarded a Lilly Grant to travel to Spain. Raupp will live with a host family in the capital Madrid while attending methods and Spanish courses at Estudio Sampere. She will also collect authentic visual and audio materials to further enrich learning in the classroom.

Kandel Baxter teaches 7th and 8th grade German at both TJMS and BFMS. Teamed up with fellow TJMS Science teacher, Alyson Laurencell, the pair was selected as one of 10 national German/STEM tandem teams by the European Akademie and the Goethe Institut. This professional development program instructs teachers on how to teach sustainability within the classroom and develop school-wide conservation programs.

Baxter was also awarded 2015 ISTA (Indiana State Teachers Association) Minority Educator of the year.