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OHS French Students Receive State, National Recognition

Thirty French students volunteered to participate in the 86th annual Grand Concours contest, also known as the National French Test. Front row, left to right: Sariyah Coleman, Ella Snyder, Mary Carolyn Weathersbee, Lauren Best, Makayla Doss, Katie Brewer, Caroline Berry, NoraClinton, Fikir Beyene, Swayzie Crawley, Everhett Van Every. Back row, left to right: Anish Bandari, Shaun Gussow, Currie Rogers, Julie Thompson, William Kincaid, Noah Amidon, Brown Turner, Anna Hill, Carolina Cassisa, Trey Tatum, Gates Allen, Luis Rodriguez. Photo provided by the OSD.

Thirty Oxford High School French students volunteered to participate in the 86th annual Grand Concours contest, also known as the National French Test – a national competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French.

Students were evaluated for their written and listening comprehension skills in French. In spite of the pandemic and all of the difficulties overcome in schools this past year, nearly 30,000 students in all 50 states competed in the 2021 event. Out of the 30 OHS students who took the test, five students received national recognition, and 17 have been named top 10 in the state for their performance.

Tie for First Place in Mississippi for French IV. Left to Right: Trey Tatum and Brown Turner.

“As the president of AATF, I would like to extend my special congratulations to those students who ranked nationally in Le Grand Concours,” said AATF president Anne Jensen. “They have shown a superior level of French language skills, cultural competence and commitment to French.”

The following Oxford High students received national rankings:

Carolina Cassisa – French II Silver Medal
Phillip Buffington – French I Honorable Mention
Sariyah Coleman – French I Honorable Mention
Gates Allen – French II Honorable Mention
Fikir Beyene – French II Honorable Mention

These students ranked in the top 10 in their level within the state of Mississippi:
Phillip Buffington – French I
Sariyah Coleman – French I
Gates Allen – French II
Carolina Cassisa – French II (first in state)
Luis Rodriguez – French II
Fikir Beyene – French II
William Berry – French III
Lauren Best – French III
Charles Byars – French III
Nora Clinton – French III
Anna Hill – French III
Darlyn Saenz-Lopez – French III
Kesler Smith – French III
Ella Seddon – French IV
Julie Thompson – French IV
Trey Tatum – French IV (tied first in state)
Brown Turner – French IV (tied first in state)

The participating students represent all four levels of French offered at OHS, taught by Lydia King, Charlie Winnick and Chelsea Winnick.

The three teachers issued the following statement:

“As a department, we are so incredibly proud of these students for volunteering to be our test group, of sorts, in offering the Grand Concours for the first time during our tenure at OHS. We are proud of their efforts, their eagerness to learn and explore the French language and culture, and their desire to further immerse themselves in the French language. We are grateful to them and their feedback as we move forward.”

National Rankings in French. Left to Right: Sariyah Coleman – French I, Gates Allen – French II , Carolina Cassisa – French II, Fikir Beyene – French II. Not pictured: Phillip Buffington – French I.

Placed First in Mississippi for French II. Pictured: Carolina Cassisa

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