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Almost half of the 101 Norfolk Academy sixth graders who took the National Latin Exam during the 2020-21 school year earned awards - including three who recorded perfect scores!

Sixth graders took the Introductory level of the exam on March 4. Among NA's award winners were eight students who earned Cum Laude; eight Magna Cum Laude; 23 Maxima Cum Laude; and five Summa Cum Laude. Three of those earning Summa Cum Laude answered all 40 questions correctly!

Students at Academy begin daily Latin instruction in the sixth grade, after taking Latin as a resource class in fourth and fifth grades. That early introduction to the ancient language not only builds their vocabulary in English, but also establishes a strong foundation for launching into a modern foreign language in Middle School, said Heidi Pollio, who teaches the Latin in grades 4-6. Many NA students continue Latin instruction throughout Upper School alongside their study of a modern foreign language -- French, Spanish, or German.

The achievement of the sixth graders is impressive, particularly given the hurdles that sixth graders faced in taking the exam, said Jackson Vaughn, Sixth Grade Latin Teacher. “Our textbook prepares students to read Latin, rather than focusing on grammar, and does not align perfectly with the material on the National Latin Exam," he said. “Yet they manage to perform phenomenally year-after-year due to their intelligence, the inculcation of critical thinking skills, and a love for learning about the ancient world."

We are proud of our sixth-grade Latin scholars!

Here is the list of award-winning students:

Gold Summa Cum Laude (39-40 correct)

  • Lily Mason-Breit (40/40)
  • Carter McGhee (40/40)
  • Will Poynter (40/40)
  • Andrew Buchanan (39/40)
  • Grant Fernandez (39/40)

Silver Maxima Cum Laude (36-38 correct)

  • CJ Kemp
  • Taylor Kulow
  • William Chung
  • Erin Little
  • Sienna Watson
  • Mia Jones
  • Catherine Adams
  • Jonah Bakkar
  • Sloane Becker
  • Wes Miller
  • Joy Roh
  • John Benton
  • A'kyra Gordon
  • Emmalee Bailey
  • Esther Morolari
  • Teddy Coleman
  • Gabriel Divaris
  • Anabelle Phillips
  • Addison Tajan
  • Allie Wight
  • Carter McCleish
  • Lexie Craig
  • Luke Hatch

Magna Cum Laude (35 correct)

  • Korinne Brooks
  • Julian Albrecht
  • Evan O'Boyle
  • Finn Guzik
  • Benji Casagrande
  • Logan Robinson
  • Shylaah Thakkar
  • Ben Warburton

Cum Laude (34 correct)

  • Maya Riddick
  • Kailyn McNaughton
  • Leighton Soderberg
  • Ashten Konikoff
  • Lyric Carter
  • Andrew Konikoff
  • Allie Carofino
  • Maite Guzman

Please see the list of Middle School and Upper School students who earned National Latin Exam awards in 2020-21. 

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