James Caldwell High School Senior Earns Gold Summa cum Laude Award for National Latin Exam (via thealternativepress.com)

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James Caldwell High School Senior Earns Gold Summa cum Laude Award for National Latin Exam

Christine Corliss

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 • 1:27am

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - With the large number of exams that high school students are required to take, it may seem unusual that a student would voluntarily take an exam, especially a senior, but for Maria Bychov, taking the Latin IV exam was the natural thing to do. For the second year in a row, Maria Bychov, a senior at James Caldwell High School (JCHS), West Caldwell, has earned the Gold Summa Cum Laude award, earning a 34 out of a possible 40 for her performance on the National Latin IV Prose Exam. The national average for the exam, which is a voluntary exam initiated by student request, is a 25.

“This is quite an accomplishment,” said Latin teacher Dr. Christopher Trause. “Preparing for this exam was something that Maria had to do on her own time. We worked together, and she spent many hours independently preparing for this exam.”

The National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League, is a 40-question, multiple-choice test with a time limit of 45 minutes, offered to students on seven levels. The Latin IV Prose exam includes questions on grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world.

“I felt that I knew the material and was ready to take the exam,” said Bychkov. “Everything that I have learned with Dr. Trause provided a strong foundation for the exam and enabled me to prepare for the test. With Dr. Trause as a teacher and mentor, I knew I could do well.”

The National Latin Exam was established to promote the study of the Latin language and culture. The exam is administered by the American Classical League and National Junior Classical League who award students in Latin I through VI for the submission of a perfect paper, or place first, second, third or fourth. All students receive certificates. In addition to the certificate, students who achieve first place scores also receive a gold medal, and second place winners receive a silver medal. Bychov received a certificate and gold medal to acknowledge her achievement, and qualifies for a renewable $1,000 scholarship. Scholarship applicants must agree to take at least one year of Latin or Classical Greek in college.

Bychkov, a senior at JCHS, has been a member of the Latin Class at JCHS for four years and a member of the Latin Club seven years. She is also a member of the Mock Trial team, a copy editor for the school newspaper, a peer leader, and National Honor Society member.

For more information on the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District, please visit the district website at www.cwcboe.org<https://www.cwcboe.org,