Mustangs can tell the value of foreign language

linguistic kids
LRHS seniors Molly Mendoza, Hannah Reynolds and Joshua Ghansiam are all four-year students in the school’s foreign language program

Lauren Hopkins – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS provides three languages on campus for students to choose from. While taking a foreign language is not required to graduate, many colleges require two years or more of a language. One student who has taken a foreign language for over three years is senior Molly Mendoza.

She is currently in Spanish 4 honors. She took Spanish because it is a requirement for college and because she hopes to travel to Spanish-speaking countries and wants to be able to communicate with the people there.

Mendoza said, “I Learned a lot about the culture and history of Spanish speaking countries, I’m pretty literate in Spanish now. My favorite thing about the class Is speaking the language in small groups and doing culture reviews.”

She added, however, “My least favorite thing about the class is getting called on to answer questions in class when I don’t know the answer, but that goes for most classes.”

Mendoza further explained, “I find the language and taking the class very rewarding and useful. I enjoy reading signs now that have both the languages.”

To encourage others to either take the language or continue on to the next level of Spanish she said, “It’s pretty useful in this day and age and it’s easier than French and is more common for where we live. I would totally take Spanish again if I could do it all over.”

Mendoza said that the teachers were all nice and created a safe and comfortable environment for students.

She added, “The coolest thing I ever did in class and with the class was playing Kahoot and Quizlet Live.”

If Mendoza could describe the class in one word she said it would be “multi-dimensional”.

Joshua Ghansiam, senior, has taken Latin for the past four years and is currently in Advanced Placement (AP) Latin. Ghansiam said that this class allows for further understanding of where the origin of the English language has evolved.

Ghansiam explained, “My parents are very supportive and have also encouraged me to challenge myself by pursuing different levels of Latin as the years continue.

He added, “Being in Latin for the duration of four years has given me the opportunity to meet new people who are in love with the language and who want to learn more about the Roman people and how they developed such a complex language.”

He admitted however, “My least favorite thing about the class I would have to say is just working through a piece of Latin literature that is almost impossible to translate. In contrast, my favorite thing about this class is being able to make connections to modern day life and the feeling you get knowing that even now in time we still are using methods developed by the Roman people.”

He further stated, “Latin is a lot of work but it sure is rewarding due to the fact that you’re able to continue building your knowledge little by little and at times it gets hard but push through and enjoy the history and the literature.”

He added, “I’m the second member in my household to have taken Latin for four years.”

He said he would absolutely take this class all over but would want to make sure he spent more time on certain concepts that he never really mastered.

Ghansiam also said, “The Latin teacher, [Stefania Mitzithras] is one of the most understanding, kind hearted, loving, caring and best educators out there for the Latin language.

“It is absolutely bittersweet especially since I won’t have the best language teacher but I surely will miss Latin and the fun activities from the class. If I could sum up this class into one word is would be ‘amazing’.”

Hannah Reynolds, also a senior, reflected on her experience taking French for the past four years.

Reynolds said, “I’m in AP French because I want to learn about the French culture and I want to be able to communicate with people in another language fluently.”

She added, “My parents are really supportive of me perusing French, we sometimes make French pastries together.”

Reynolds stated, “My least favorite thing about the class overall would be spelling French because since a lot of the letters aren’t pronounced, some words can look completely different than they are said.”

Reynolds further said, “I have definitely found French useful because I use it at work (Cold Stone Creamery) sometimes to communicate with French families. Over the summer I went to France and was able to talk with the locals and it was really cool to bring my French to life.”

She explained that she would take it again if she had the opportunity to start over.

She admitted some struggles she had to face when taking the class stating, “I’ve had three different French teachers throughout my four years so it’s gotten a little complicated trying to adapt to a new teaching style over and over again.

“It’s definitely bittersweet that this is my last year taking French. I’ll most likely join a French club or something in college.”

Wind ensemble prepares for states

Markella Paradissis-Wagner – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)  – On April 24 the LRHS Wind Ensemble will compete in Music Performance Assessment (MPA) State competition at Bailey Concert Hall, Broward College.

The group earned “Superior” ratings at last month’s district competition, qualifying them for the next level, state competition.

After performing on stage and sight-reading for judges, those competing in MPAs receive scores of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, or Superior in each portion of the evaluation. A Superior is equivalent to an ‘A’ grade, an Excellent a ‘B,” and so forth.

“I’m really excited for our state festival. I think we’ve prepared enough and now it’s just time to play,” said junior oboe player Chandler Reed.

Visitors help Mustangs peer into the future

scf mtc visit april 19

Representative from local colleges and businesses offered Mustangs valuable information

Tori Price – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – State College of Florida – Manatee/Sarasota (SCF-M/C), Manatee Technical College (MTC), U.S. Army recruiters and representatives from the Beall’s Corporation set up tables in the LRHS courtyard in front of the lunchroom to talk to seniors still making decisions about their futures. They were all willing to answer any questions students had about their schools or programs.

Kristey Richardson from SCF, said, “Our whole goal for being here is to give students options for college. So far today we have talked to 21 students.”

Each table had pamphlets and booklets that students could take home to answer any other questions that they might have had that were not answered.

US Army Staff Sgt. Jefferey Albert said, “I talk to at least one person a day that is genuinely interested in the Army. I am able to tell them my experience and lead them to further steps if they are serious about wanting to join the Army.”

Mustangs really are “Latin” lovers

Kyle Praizner – LRHS Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – This was a good year for LRHS Latin students.  Several have received national recognition for their mastery of the language and culture.

Mustangs were evaluated on a national level through exams designed to test expertise in various areas of Latin studies. Students were awarded on how well they did on the following subjects.

This year’s Mustang winners include –

  • National Roma Civilization Exam- Kaitlyn Marer (Bronze), John Lin (Silver)
  • National Latin Vocabulary Exam- Adina Mayo (Bronze), Cypress Potter (Bronze)
  • National Classical Etymology Exam- Emily Miler (Silver), Alisson Fox (Silver), Olivia Miller (Bronze)
  • National Latin Exam-  Ashley Bruneman (magna cum laude)

LRHS Latin teacher Stefania Mitzithras said, “Our students represented Lakewood Ranch very well during the exams. Please congratulate them when you see them.”