National Italian Exam gold medal recipients Uma Shtrom and Carmine Carusone.

Finley Spectacular on French & Italian National Exams

National Italian Exam gold medal recipients Uma Shtrom and Carmine Carusone.

August 9, 2019

Determination. It’s a quality that just about every J. Taylor Finley Middle School student has had in abundant supply since the building first opened in September 1965.

The teenagers that fill the school today are no different than their predecessors and equally talented, especially when it comes to mastering a second or even a third language

Dozens of Finley seventh and eighth graders took the national French and Italian exams this past spring and teachers, Dr. Gina Marie Trigian-Molvaut and Michelle Viani were excited to learn of the remarkably strong results.

This marked the fourth year that both exams were given in a digital format. Students took the exam on Chromebooks during a specially scheduled double period on the same date as did thousands of other test-takers across the nation.

Finley’s participation in the national exam remains quite high as 17 seventh graders and eighth graders sat for Le Grand Concours (the name given to the French exam) and 25 students took the National Italian Exam. The two national exams provide students with an opportunity to expand their language skills in a broader context.

“We are very proud of these students for academically challenging themselves by participating in this extracurricular activity,” Madame Molvaut said. “It is very important to acknowledge the contribution that they are making not only to the learning of world languages, but also to fostering exchange among school communities by participating in the national exams.”

Finley’s Le Grand Concours participants included:

Seventh grade: Christian Alfaro, Benjamin Edgar-McNerney, Andrew Ganley, Bryan Lizama, Lily Tierney

Eighth grade: Doch Antoine, Ismael Blaise, Sophie Bradford, Kender Edouazin, Aislyn Franciscovich, Annika Galvin, Cicilia Kye, Ryan Lawless, Allison Malone, Renata Meiram, Danielle Mendikyan, Dawn Preval

Among the 17 Le Grand Concours Finley test-takers, 11 earned honors, including:

Level 01A: Christian Alfaro and Bryan Lizama - Honorable Mention

Level 1A: Aislyn Francisovich and Danielle Mendikyan - Honorable Mention

Level 1A: Annika Galvin and Cecilia Kye – Bronze medal

Level 1B: Sophie Bradford and Kender Edouazin - Silver medal

Level 1C: Doch Annsler Antoine - Honorable Mention

Level 1C: Dawin Préval – Silver medal

Level 1C: Ismael Blaise – Gold medal

Le Grand Concours is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. More than 72,000 students from all 50 states and many foreign countries participated in the exam, which is a premier event for those in grades 1-12 who are studying French.

National Italian Exam

Sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the national Italian exam drew participation from 5,200 students from 20 states and Puerto Rico.

Finley’s National Italian Exam participants included:

Seventh grade: Kimberly Ardon Chavez, Damaris Mani-Munoz, Brayan Santos-Mendez, Kelly Zelaya, Adriana Abbatiello, Mayra Aguilar Rivera, Carmine Carusone, Michael DeBellis IV, Michael Donatelli, Samantha Koepele, Adriano Lamantia, Giada LoPorto, Chloe Northrop, Brooke Park, Uma Shtrom

Eighth grade: Stephanie Alvarado, Saray Castaneda-Gonzalez, Jamie Mejia-Ortez, Estefany Quijada Mojica, Vito Aloe, Jack DelPonte, Vincent Grassi, Emma Hannigan, Gabriella Miller, Brad Nisipeanu

Among the 25 Finley students taking the National Italian Exam, 16 captured honors, including:

Novice: Brayan Santos-Mendez, Adriana Abbatiello, Mayra Aguilar Rivera, Samantha Koepele - Achievement Certificate

Novice: Damaris Mani-Munoz, Kelly Zelaya, Chloe Northrop – Bronze medal

Novice: Giada LoPorto, Brooke Parks – Silver medal

Novice: Carmine Caruson, Uma Shtrom – Gold medal

Level 1: Saray Castaneda-Gonzalez, Jack DelPonte, Vincent Grassi - Achievement Certificate

Level 1: Brad Nisipeanu – Bronze medal

Level 1: Estefany Quijada Mojica – Silver medal

First Ever School Awards Ceremony

For the first time ever, Madame Molvaut and Signora Viani organized a “national exam awards ceremony” in the LGI to recognize the French and Italian students who participated in this year’s program.

“Mrs. Viani and I strongly felt that we needed to bring all these exceptional language students together to celebrate their efforts and success at home,” Madame Molvaut said.

To open the ceremony, students listened to the American, French and Italian national anthems. Later Signora Viani called all participants in the National Italian Exam to receive their certificates and medals, as well as to take pictures. Then, Madame Molvaut did the same for the students participating in Le Grand Concours.

Several students took leading roles during the ceremony. Mack Brunner sang in Italian for the pleasure of all. Ismael Blaise performed several refrains from a romantic poem entitled Le Lac by Lamartine. Aislyn Francisovich and Annika Galvin recited Déjeuner du matin by Jacques Prévert. Darwin Préval read Chanson d’automne by Paul Verlaine.

“Giving students a chance to be honored and appreciated for their language skills and talents is very important for their growth,” Signora Viani said. “I am especially proud and inspired by their accomplishments.” 

Le Grand Concours award recipients  Doch Annsler Antoine, Darwin Préval and Ismael Blaise.
Le Grand Concours award recipients Doch Annsler Antoine, Darwin Préval and Ismael Blaise.
Finley eighth graders participating in the Le Grand Concours initiative.
Finley eighth graders participating in the Le Grand Concours initiative.
Finley seventh graders who participated in LeGrand Concours.
Finley seventh graders who participated in LeGrand Concours.