• March 13, 2024

    World language students earn top marks in Japanese contest

    Japanese language studentsUpper St. Clair High School world language students earned top finishes in three of the six categories of the annual High School Japanese Speech Contest on Friday, March 8, 2024, at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

    First Place: Hudson Healy
    Second Place: Kaia Petrick
    Third Place: Ojasi Madhekar

    Beginner Level Speech:
    First Place: Chihiro Brentzel
    Second Place: Maxen Thomas

    Intermediate Level Speech:
    First Place: Dhruv Dileep
    Second Place: Evie Ellenberger

    Students have the opportunity to compete in one of five Japanese speech levels, including Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced Plus and Heritage. New and non-language students compete in the poster contest.

    In total, 11 Upper St. Clair High School students competed in the High School Japanese Speech Contest. In addition to the winners, other Upper St. Clair participants included Leann Anderson, Poster; Charles Jenkins, Poster; Ricky Crawford, Intermediate Speech; and Yuzuki Watanabe, Heritage Speech. Students were led by Chie Ramsey, world language teacher.

    “I’m very proud of them all. Their efforts will build their confidence,” Ms. Ramsey said. “I believe this experience will encourage them to continue their world language learning. For me, all of them are winners.”

    According to the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, “the High School Japanese Speech Contest is an opportunity for students in the region to show off their studies, meet other learners, and participate in cultural activities.”

    Each year, more than 80 students participate in the Japanese Speech Contest, researching the theme and preparing their speech or presentation.

    “After the contest, students had a great opportunity to tour the exhibit, ‘Imprinting in Their Time: Japanese Printmakers, 1912-2022’,” Ms. Ramsey said. “Also, they had fun experiences with culture booths and lunch with the Pittsburgh Japanese School’s heritage students.”

    The event was jointly hosted by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center and the Carnegie Museum of Art.