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25 students from GCS ranked nationally in the Le Grand Concours

This year, 25 students from GCS have ranked nationally in the 82nd annual event, according to Lisa Narug, National Director of Le Grand Concours, a national competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students were evaluated for their written, oral, and listening comprehension skills in French.  More than 78,000 students in all 50 states competed in the 2017 event, ranging from Elementary level to Division 5. The 25 7th and 8th graders, taught by Mrs. Séverine Nigey, competed in Division 01 against 5,064 students across the nation. 

Eighth grader Gerard Spooner, and seventh graders Sarah Arevalo, Olivia McGrath, and Ella Ann Woei won Silver awards, honoring students who scored in the 90th to 85th percentile, eighth grader Julia Swierczynska and seventh grader Catherine Cosenza won Bronze awards, recognizing students who scored in the 80th to 75th percentile, and eighth graders Rhiannon Lauer, Francesca Maldonado, Erin Salvate, and Martin Santos, along with seventh graders Ella Cognetti, Matthew L’Helias, and Grace Rosebrook won Mention d’honneur awards, honoring students who scored in the 70th to the 50th percentile.  Gerard Spooner, Sarah Arevalo, Olivia McGrath, Ella Ann Woei, Catherine Cosenza, and Julia Swierczynska ranked among the top 10 Nationally in their division.  In addition to the 8 Nationally ranked students above, Martin Santos and Matthew L’Helias ranked among the top 10 in their division in the Connecticut Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French.

AATF President Catherine Danièlou indicated, “French students who rank nationally in Le Grand Concours demonstrate a superior level of global responsibility, integrative cultural competence, language skills, and commitment to excellence and dedication. They significantly increase their community’s international profile. Their French teachers, whom they honor, work hard to produce responsible world citizens with multilingual capabilities. Le Grand Concours participants and winners all embrace an appreciation for other cultures, strive to continually learn and improve, and value the study of French. We are very proud of them and admire their commitment to both contributing to a better world and serving as exceptional ambassadors for their schools.”

For more information about the National French Contest, please visit their website:

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