March 17, 2022
Students sweep two categories at Japanese contest
Upper St. Clair High School students earned first, second and third place finishes in two of the five categories of the 25th Annual High School Japanese Speech Contest, sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania (JASP) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center. Sophomore Aarav Patil finished first in the Poster category and junior Eleanor Alford earned top honors in Intermediate Speech.
In addition to the first-place finishes, Upper St. Clair students claimed second and third place in both the Poster and Intermediate Speech categories. In the Poster category, juniors Aaditya Markose and Connor Hyatt placed second and third, respectively. In Intermediate Speech, senior Gabriel Tran earned second place and senior Roehl Benedicto finished third.
“I’m very proud of them all. They should be satisfied to have chosen to undertake this challenge,” Chie Ramsey, Upper St. Clair High School Japanese teacher, said. “Their efforts to participate will help them build these skills going forward. I think it is important to understand different languages and cultures. For me, all of them are winners.”
Other participating Upper St. Clair High School students included:
- Poster (PowerPoint) category: Dhruv Dileep, grade 10
- Beginner Speech: Ari Henderson, grade 10; Arden McPherson, grade 10
- Intermediate Speech: William Schultz, grade 12
This year’s competition was held online the week of Feb. 28, 2022, and the awards ceremony was held on Friday, March 11. Thirty Japanese language students competed in one of four speech levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced, and advanced plus – or the poster contest. Participating schools include City Charter School, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, Shaler Area High School, and Upper St. Clair High School.
The annual High School Japanese Speech Contest is made possible through the generous support of the Elliott Group, Temple University Japan Campus, Japan Foundation Los Angeles, the Japanese Consulate General of New York, University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation and Mitsubishi Endowments at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the participating schools, students and volunteers.
Established in 1986, The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania is an association of individuals, corporations and organizations that seek to promote local understanding of and mutually beneficial participation in the changing U.S.-Japan relationship. The Society provides informative, innovative programming in order to encourage a better understanding of the business, cultural, social, educational and political practices and customs of Japan and the United States. For more information about the organization, visit http://japansocietypa.org/.