News and Events
Virginia Student Wins First Prize at National Latin Convention
August 25, 2011
Exeter, NH (August 25, 2011)—Fairfax, VA, resident Seung Y. "Daniel" Kim, a rising senior at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH, won first place in an advanced Latin vocabulary examination during the 58th Annual National Junior Classical League Convention, held in Richmond, KY, July 25-30, 2011. Kim was awarded a $200 prize and placed fourth in the all-category decathlon—the convention's most highly contested competition. He also was among a handful of top winners in advanced-level mythology, poetry comprehension, Roman history, Greek derivatives, Latin grammar and the academic heptathlon competition.
Having studied Latin since the eighth grade, Kim says he initially struggled but persevered to grasp the concepts of the ancient language. "I noticed from the first day of Latin class that such an in-depth analysis of syntax and grammar gave me a greater appreciation for languages in general. The language [Latin] was difficult and at the same time, clear . . . . The beauty of the ablative absolute, the double dative, and the accusative of respect resonates with me more powerfully than the simple structure of the English language," he says.
Kim was joined in the contest by two other PEA students: Oishi L. Banerjee, a rising lower (sophomore) from Exeter, NH, and Gene Young Chang, a rising upper (junior) from Seoul, Korea. Competing in more than 15 examinations, Banerjee finished in the top-10 results in prose comprehension, Roman life and creative arts. Chang finished in the top three, in an advanced poetry comprehension challenge.
In addition to performing well, Kim rigorously campaigned for and was elected president of the NJCL an organization of middle and high school students interested in ancient languages, histories and cultures. In his new position, Kim will serve for one year.
"I feel incredibly blessed to have been elected. As president, I will monitor and keep my board of six other officers accountable for their duties and responsibilities throughout the [term]. I will also chair two national board meetings. This position is both empowering and at the same time, humbling," he says.
The NJCL is sponsored by the American Classical League, founded in 1919 to foster the study of classical languages in the U.S. and Canada. Membership to the ACL is open to anyone committed to the preservation and advancement of classical Greek and Roman history.
For further information, visit the Classical Languages Department webpage, send an email or call 603-777-3485. A complete list of upcoming events on campus is available on the Phillips Exeter Academy's community calendar or on the Phillips Exeter Academy public events line at 603-777-4309. You may also visit our school's website. For directions to Phillips Exeter Academy, call 603-777-4330.
— Famebridge Witherspoon