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RCDS Students' National Latin Exam Results Exceed National Averages

RCDS Students' National Latin Exam Results Exceed National Averages

Fourteen-year-old Julian Magherini let out a grin that shined as brightly as the gold medal he accepted at The Rumson Country Day School awards ceremony held on Friday, April 18 to recognize students for their exceptional performance on the National Latin Exam. About 130,000 students from 50 states participated in the 2019 National Latin Exam this spring, including Julian and 88 other seventh and eighth-grade students from RCDS, the majority of which achieved scores that exceeded national averages.

“It was a really good feeling to learn the news of our results,” said Julian. “Not only because it was an exam that was taken nation-wide, but because I knew how hard we worked to achieve what we did.” 

Ninety-one percent of the RCDS seventh graders and 82% of eighth graders garnered accolades for their exam results including perfect scores, outstanding achievement, and achievement. Typically, under 50% of National Latin Exam takers are recognized for these accomplishments. Julian and ten other eighth graders represented RCDS admirably by exhibiting mastery at their level in Latin and earning summa cum laude.

The impressive results are a testament to hard work and discipline led by RCDS Latin teacher Dr. Stephen Gaetano – known as Dr. G among his students.

“The students know I have high expectations of them. I wanted to set the bar really high, but they exceeded those expectations,” said Dr. G. “We play games and have fun in class, but the test we prepare for is rigorous. If it was easy they wouldn’t feel that incredible sense of accomplishment and achievement.”

Throughout the year, Dr. G incorporates myriad hands-on learning activities into his lessons to inspire students to be passionate about the content, to have fun and to gain a thorough understanding of the Latin language and culture.

“As we cover material that not everyone finds inherently interesting, I try to introduce more fun,” explained Dr. G. “We dress up as superheroes, we use props and watch YouTube videos. They don’t realize what they’re doing is learning grammar. Especially in preparation for the exam, test-taking skills, time management and a slow build of confidence are benefits that I hope will serve the students beyond my classroom. They come to appreciate those skills and the language. Their study of Latin sparks wonder and curiosity about the world around them. I relate it to the school motto “vitae disce” – learn for life.”

This spring, Dr. G and his students will continue to master the content covered during the year and lay the foundation for their continuing learning of the Latin language, history and culture.

“I’ve already used the skills Dr. G taught me for the entrance exam I had to take for high school,” said Julian. “Especially when it came to vocabulary and study techniques. He’s really passionate about Latin so it makes it more exciting.” 

The following students joined Julian in achieving gold medals or perfect scores on the 2019 National Latin Exam:

8th Grade Gold Medals: 

Aidan M
Matt L
Adele B
Chloe C
Maggie G
Molly D
Mason W
Mallory A
Julian M
McLane G
Elly P

7th Grade Perfect Scores:  

Ryan W
Kelly K
Dominik G
Avery B
Grace L
Hudson S
Anna B
Lydia O

  • Awards & Accolades