Mississippi School for Math and Science students placed first in the Olympiad of Spoken Russian, held April 6 in Memphis, Tennessee. Pictured after their victory are, in front, from left, Elise Cook, Sydney "Sam" Matrisciano, instructor Margaret Mary Henry and Micah Robinson. In back, from left, are Hillary Gerber, Alex Wheeler, Matthew Westmoreland, Noah McKone and Haley Hsu. Photo by: Joe Cook/Courtesy photo
April 15, 2017 10:02:20 PM
Mississippi School for Math and Science students took top honors in the Olympiad of Spoken Russian, held at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, April 6. The contest is a unique event among language competitions and tests the most difficult aspect of language acquisition, speaking. In the four parts of the event, contestants describe in Russian themselves, their families and their interests; discuss aspects of Russian culture and geography; recite Russian poetry; and answer questions based on Russian narratives.
Senior Haley Hsu of Horn Lake received the overall gold medal and was recognized for the highest score ever earned at the Olympiad contest in the Memphis region. For her achievement, the judges nominated Hsu for national recognition by the American Council of Teachers of Russian.
Fellow Russian 2 team members Hillary Gerber of Columbus and Alex Wheeler of West Point received gold medals. Noah McKone of Bogue Chitto won silver.
In Russian 1, juniors Elise Cook of Steens, Sydney "Sam" Matrisciano of Winona, Micah Robinson of Brandon and Matthew Westmoreland of Terry won gold. Matrisciano was given a special award for grace and composure in her responses to the questions and tasks of the Olympiad.
"I'm tremendously proud of these students," said MSMS Russian teacher Margaret Mary Henry. "They have worked very hard. What a joy to see their efforts so richly rewarded."