SPARTA, NJ – For the second year Sparta High School Russian students competed in the National Russian Essay contest.  Three juniors who competed at the advanced level had their essays forwarded to the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute in Moscow where they received additional honors.

This year Sparta was represented by 30 students this year; 20 at the advanced level, nine intermediate and one beginner. 

“Our students did exceptionally well,” Russian teacher William Brennan said.  “Students from Sparta competing at the advanced level won almost 10 percent of the gold medals and almost 20 percent of silver medals nationwide.”

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In a small ceremony in the Eric Hood’s classroom the students were given their medals and certificates.

“This really is a reflection, an authentic demonstration of your Russian knowledge,” Hood said before handing out the award.

Sparta had four gold, 15 silver, 11 bronze and an honorable mention. Zoe Merold, Kasey Senatore and Jessica Longstreth had their essays forwarded to be judged by Professor Lilliya Vokhmina, a professor at the Methods, Pedagogics and Psychology department at the Pushkin Institute.

Senatore won the gold medal in the second round and as awarded a special pin.  Merold and Longstreth earned silver medals.

According to Brennan 1,099 students of Russian competed across the country this year.  Students are given a prompt to which they construct an essay in Russian.  They did not know the prompt in advance and had two hours to complete their work.

The essay contest is an “authentic demonstration of their knowledge,” Brennan said.

First Round Winners:

  • Reese Abrams  Bronze
  • Brian Cabrera  Honorable Mention
  • Yasmeen Caswell  Bronze
  • Ryan Cilli  Bronze
  • Stephanie Downes  Silver
  • Amada Friesen  Bronze
  • Kaylea Gaughan  Silver
  • Juleanna Green  Silver
  • Lauren Groff  Gold
  • Camryn Grundy  Bronze
  • Katherine Hannan  Bronze
  • Caroline Kepler  Silver
  • Sylvia Kloian  Silver
  • Simon Levien  Silver
  • Midaion Levinson  Silver
  • Jessica Longstreth*  Gold
  • Grace Masterson  Silver
  • Patrick McGurrin  Silver
  • Zoe Merold*  Gold
  • Nancy Nester Bronze
  • Sara Nigro  Silver
  • Jillian Parks  Bronze
  • Rachel Raffino  Bronze
  • Sophie Regeimbal  Silver
  • Kasey Senator*  Gold
  • Al-Aydi Shay  Silver
  • Delaney Sniffen  Silver
  • Sophie Venus  Bronze
  • Ande Wittenmeier  Silver
  • Emily Yarnall  SIlver
  • Hope Zwigard  Bronze
  • Sophie Regeimbal  Silver

*Second round award winners