On Friday, May 24th, 69 Butler High School Latin students traveled to Penn State University to compete in the annual Pennsylvania Junior Classical League (PAJCL) State Convention. Butler took home the second place overall trophy, winning 60 awards in the academic, athletic, graphic and creative arts categories as well as winning the overall chapter spirit competition.
The PAJCL Conventions are held every May at Penn State University. From Friday until Sunday, students compete in athletic, academic, and creative arts competitions. These range from track events, to academic tests, to dozens of categories of creative arts projects and performances. However, the real driving force behind this weekend of competition is for Latin students from all over the state to come together and celebrate their love of all things classical (Latin, Greek, classical art and culture, etc.).
The Butler Area Junior Classical League, or BAJCL, which is the official name of Butler’s Latin Club, has been attending these conventions since 2001. This local JCL chapter is the largest in the entire state, with an enrollment of 203 students. As a language, Latin is currently studied by over 300 students at Butler from 8th through 12th grades.
Patty Hay, a Butler alumna, and now a Latin teacher at North Catholic High School, is also the PAJCL State Chairperson. She is responsible for organizing the entire weekend. It is a monumental undertaking, and this year’s convention ran smoothly thanks to her efforts and the efforts of the co-chairs, Ms. Brooke McLane-Higginson from the Ellis School in Pittsburgh, and Mrs. Karin Suzadail, from Owen J. Roberts high school in Pottstown, PA.
So, for anyone out there who thinks Latin is a dead language, there were nearly 500 kids at Penn State this weekend who would very much disagree!
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