Two Latin students achieve perfection on national exam

Pair of Summit students pose for a picture

Ryan Burns '20 and Irene Calderon '22

Two students from The Summit Country Day School earned perfect scores on the National Latin Exam (NLE). Junior Ryan Burns, Anderson Township, who took the Level IV test, achieved perfection for the third time in five years. Freshman Irene Calderon, Hyde Park, Level II, accomplished the feat for the second year in a row.  

More than 139,000 students from all 50 states and 20 foreign countries participated in the 2019 NLE. Less than 1 percent received a perfect score. The exam, for students in grades 7-12, consists of 40 multiple-choice questions on grammar, vocabulary, derivatives, mythology, history and culture. 

Ryan and Irene were among the students who received a gold medal and a summa cum laude certificate. Others were: juniors Isa Bishop, Mason; Maliah Bricking, Sharonville; and Emily Warden, Loveland; freshman Jimmy Fraley, Covington; and eighth graders Ali Burns, Anderson Township; and Nicholas Stanis, White Oak. Isa, Maliah and Ryan also received a special book award for earning four consecutive golds.  

“Ryan and Irene put in hours of work to achieve a perfect score on the exam, and Isa, Maliah, and Ryan put it years of work to earn the top prize four consecutive years,” said Summit Latin teacher Larry Dean. “The younger students see their success and follow their example.” 

Receiving silver medals and maxima cum laude certificates: senior Brandon Harris, Amberley Village; junior Connie Nelson, Hyde Park; sophomore Aidan Lawler, Anderson Township; freshmen Abby Almaguer, Loveland; Katie Dobelhoff, Columbia Township; Lily Lippert, Hyde Park; Kendall Richard, Oakley; Hudson Ritch, Hyde Park; and eighth graders Maria Bishop, Mason; Owen McEachern, Anderson Township; William McLane, Anderson Township; and Tommy Schaefer, Hyde Park.  

Magna cum laude certificates went to senior Julia Dean, Anderson Township; junior Kathryn Sullivan, Morrow; freshmen Graeme Barrere, Anderson Township; Cecilia Hasan, East Walnut Hills; sophomore Margot Lakes, Cherry Grove; and eighth graders Megan Ebken, Anderson Township; and Maddie Sievering, Loveland. 

Cum laude certificates were awarded to senior Jeffery Huang, Hyde Park; junior Matthew Warden, Loveland; sophomores Matthew Casanas, Montgomery; Erin Devine, Indian Hill; and Evan Lakhia, South Lebanon; freshman Kathryn Shaffer, Anderson Township; and eighth grader Rimel Kamran, Mason. 

These seventh graders taking the Introduction to Latin exam received an outstanding achievement certificate and ribbon: Reagan Bricking, Sharonville; Jackson Campbell, Hyde Park; Mia Cavallo, Hyde Park; C.C. Chavez, Hyde Park; Lilly Dwyer, Indian Hill; Jude Gerhardt, Colerain Township; Ethan Lam, Anderson Township; Matthew Langenderfer, Deerfield Township; and Alek Stanisic, Hyde Park. Classmates Drew Hinton, Hyde Park; Donovan Mathews, Hebron; Logan Miller, Ft. Thomas; Benny Penote, Anderson Township; and David Schnitter, Clermont County’s Union Township, were awarded achievement certificates for their scores.  

Latin is introduced to Summit students at sixth grade and they can continue to study the language through their senior year. Taught by Mr. Dean and Lisa Mays, The Summit’s Latin Club earned the state championship in overall points at the 2019 Ohio Junior Classical League this year. It was the fourth time in the last five years and eighth in the last 10 that The Summit has claimed the top spot at the convention.    

“Ms. Mays and I are always impressed with the work ethic of the Latin students,” says Mr. Dean. “We push the theme labor omnia vincit – work conquers all.  Most of these students were members of our state championship Latin team. The work that they did to succeed at convention also helped them on this national exam.”