March 10, 2020
USC students earn top honors at Japanese contest
Three Upper St. Clair High School students placed first in the 23rd annual High School Japanese Speech Contest on Friday, March 6, 2020, at the University of Pittsburgh. Earning first place finishes were Alexis Wright, Level 1 – Poster Presentation; Stephanie Lu, Level 2 – Beginner Speech Presentation; and Caroline Knizner, Level 3 – Intermediate Speech Presentation.
Finishing in second place were Roehl Benedicto, Level 1; and Alex Edkins, Level 2. And, earning third place honors were Christian Farmerie, Level 1; and Hunter Bench, Level 3.
More than 100 high school Japanese language learners of all levels from the tri-state area compete in the regional speech and poster competition. Students participate in one of four speech levels according to their level of instruction.
In addition to those who placed, the following Upper St. Clair students participated in the Japanese contest: Level 1 – Celena Brentzel, Gabrielle Caudill, Robert Jaffee, Miranda Oliver, William Schultz and Colby Stanekentered; and in Level 2 – Kymahni Vidale.
“The students worked so hard to prepare for the event. All students in my Japanese classes accomplished great work,” Chie Ramsey, USCHS world language teacher, said. “All of them are winners to me. I’m very proud of them.”
The event is a contest for high school Japanese language learners in the western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and West Virginia region to learn how to deliver a memorized speech at a language level appropriate for their level of learning. The poster contest is for students to study a topic on Japan and demonstrate their ability to share what they have learned through the presentation of a poster. The event also included a full day of Japanese activities and games.
“It was fun and also it was a very educational event,” William Schultz, Upper St. Clair High School sophomore, said.
The competition is hosted by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center.