Sparkman students were all smiles after their trophy wins at the Federation of Spanish Convention. (CONTRIBUTED)
Sparkman students were all smiles after their trophy wins at the Federation of Spanish Convention. (CONTRIBUTED)

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Spanish students from Sparkman earn 15 competition trophies

Published 4:17pm Wednesday, April 9, 2014

HARVEST -  Spanish students from Sparkman High School topped their own record at the Federation of Spanish Convention at the University of Alabama.

The Senators earned 15 trophies in 19 categories. All competing students ranked among each category’s top 10.

The annual competition “challenges students to perform at a higher level. It validates their hard work and entices them to learn more about the culture and language,” Spanish teacher and club sponsor Carla Terry said.

Numerous Sparkman students earned Top 10 rights:

* Vocabulary — Allison Watwood, Yana Golovnich, Kyle Anderson, Victoria Moore, Brittany Garrett and Emma Glubercht.

* Verbs — Brandon Martin, Iayana Ferguson, StephanieTurrentine, Alex Rice and Lindsey Parish.

* Scholars Bowl — Steven Byrd, Josh Donahue, Alex Holmes and Austin Adams.

* Poem — Ben Brainerd, Rada Kuzmina, Desalyn Johnson, Yolanda Bennett and Yazmine Justiniano.

* Impromptu speaking — Wilimillis Justiniano

* Song — Omri Merchant

* Skit — Morgan Gibson, Katrina Smith, Esther Okuro, Laurel Rogers, Lauren Noble and Desalyn Johnson.

* Grammar — Ryan Collum and Alisha Lee.

* Scrapbook — Julia Maier, Cassandra Venson and Laurel Rogers.

* Reading — Amos Landrum. This year, the competition focused on Spain in academic and non-academic categories. Sparkman students enjoy both areas.

“Every student has the potential to be successful when placed and mentored in the right direction,” Terry said. After identifying students’ aptitudes, Terry recruits them to participate in the event. “I know how valuable it is for students to see how good they are outside the classroom.”

After competing, students consistently ask Terry to enter the contest again.

“Allowing students to showcase their talents, whatever they may be, gives them a sense of pride and boosts their self-confidence,” Terry said.

Terry’s students actually teach her. This year, she realized that over-emphasizing grammar, vocabulary or structures can overwhelm students. “Allowing them to make mistakes and to peer correct has given them more ownership of their learning,” she said.

Terry describes her students as “amazing ambassadors of Sparkman High School.”

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