Huntington is Tops on
National Spanish Exam
Huntington High School students captured a pile of medals in this year's National Spanish Exam competition. More than four dozen teenagers were recognized, including 18 who garnered gold, silver or bronze medals, placing them among the elite nationally.
The NSE is actually a series of exams for those on various levels of study. The tests, which are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, are voluntarily administered to students in grades 6-12 across the country.
Huntington's honorees were enrolled in classes taught by foreign language teachers Lorena Díaz, Ingrid Moreira, Elizabeth Casazza, Eliana Oranges and Mercy Peña.
Four of the Level II students in Ms. Diaz's classes garnered medals in the competition including silver medalists Bryant Benitez, Ingrid Hoyos, and Rogelio Jimenez and bronze medalist Jefreed Gomez. Nashalie Camacho, Samantha Guzman and Gerardo Valles claimed honorable mention recognition.
Ms. Moreira saw one of her Level II students win a silver medal in Joe Saginaw and three capture bronze medals in Hillary Hardardt, Kevin Solano and Oscar Villatorio were honored. Kellin Garcia, Jessica Marroqui and Oscar Romero captured honorable mention recognition.
Ms. Casazza's four Level III bronze medalists included Naomi Medina-Jaudes, Ashley Lopez, Leyda Mata and Monica Owen. Honorable mention award winners included Alexander Castillo, Chelsea Holmes, Henry Rogan, Jeremy Gelb, Jesse Feldman-Stein, Katherine Gerdes, Matthew Rosenbauer, Megan Healy, Molly Brambil, Morgan Mars, Sabrina Blakely, Ashley Melgar, Charlie Romero, Joseph Castillo, Jaime Castillo, Jessica Bonilla and Zaira Ramirez.
Ms. Oranges' students took the "Level 4" exam and their results were sensational, especially since many of America's top students were among the test-takers. The teacher's strongest finishers were gold medalists Thomas Rivas and Brian Gilbert, silver medalists Greta Farrell and Debbie Gomez and bronze medalists Todd Colvin, Daniel Gallagher and Erika Martinez. Honorable mention prizes were garnered by Caroline Glowacky, Samantha Levine, Melena Mills, Molly Prep, Samuel Dejoie, Rosa Gomez and Maralin Ulloa.
Six of Ms. Pena's elite Advanced Placement students earned honors on the "Level 5" exam including silver medalist Roxana Moreira, bronze medalist Jose Hernandez and honorable mention award winners Matthew Petryk, Alexander Alvarado, Karen Parada and Jose Jovel.
The NSE was administered in a paper form from 1957-2005 before moving to an online format. More than 3,400 teachers across the country annually participate in the NSE with their students who are studying Spanish as a second language. This year 243,641 students took the test.
"Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious," said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, national director of the exams.