Collinsville High School hosted the 2019 Illinois Junior Classical League South Convention on Saturday November 9, 2019. In addition to hosting duties, the CHS Latin program earned 1st Place overall, with 30 individual awards and 5 trophies. Two CHS students were elected into IJCL leadership positions.
The purpose of the IJCL is to foster an appreciation and understanding of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. Five schools participated in the convention which featured a wide range of academic competitions, creative art displays and educational activities.
“It’s rare to have a Latin convention in our own backyard,” said CHS Latin Teacher James Stark. “The entire experience of hosting a convention has only strengthened my pride in our community here at Collinsville. I had numerous parents step forward to assist with chaperoning and judging throughout the day. Former students gave their time to assist with judging, setting up, tearing down, and leading activities.
“Among our own students, current IJCL South President Julia Eversmann worked tirelessly writing scripts, printing and organizing forms, gathering supplies, creating materials to educate new schools, practicing her speaking roles and numerous other tasks. Our students also prepared the program and created activities.
“One of the former CHS Latin teachers — the legendary Mary Lee Muniz — volunteered for a large portion of the day. Several teachers gave me assistance by lending equipment for activities, and our administration was very supportive to ensure that everything went well for the convention. It was definitely a team effort,” added Stark.
CHS sophomore Jacob Altenberger was elected IJCL South President for next year, and junior Lesly Ramirez was elected Secretary. Because CHS has the IJCL South president again in 2020-21, the school may have the opportunity to lead next year’s convention. The location will be announced in January 2020.
Collinsville High School is the only public high school in southwestern Illinois to offer Latin as a world language course. Latin Teacher James Stark was named 2017 Illinois Latin Teacher of the Year.
Here is a list of awards earned by CHS Latin students:
1st Place – Graffiti Wall
Numerous CHS students contributed to this project, including many who did not attend convention.