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Students Earn Recognition for National Latin Exam

Students Earn Recognition for National Latin Exam
  • Signature Academics

The RCDS school motto “vitae disce”, Latin for “learn for life”, captures the essence of the school’s goal to empower and inspire its students to excel as lifelong learners. On Friday, May 7, RCDS students were recognized for their outstanding performance on the National Latin Exam, marking an important milestone in their lifelong learning journey. The 40-question exam is taken annually by over 100,000 students worldwide, including 92 seventh and eighth graders from RCDS, the vast majority of whom earned scores that exceeded national averages for the third consecutive year.

“I’m always very proud of our students,” said Latin Teacher Dr. Stephen Gaetano. “Their exam results are a testament to their discipline, hard work, resilience, and curiosity. I hope they carry these qualities with them beyond their RCDS experience.”

Overall, 86% of RCDS test-takers received accolades for their results, including 32 summa cum laude (13 of which were perfect scores), 29 maxima cum laude, 11 magna cum laude, and eight cum laude. Typically, under 50% of students taking the National Latin Exam are recognized for these accomplishments.

The RCDS World Language Program encompasses a two-year capstone course in Latin that seventh and eighth graders take in addition to their world language selection. Dr. G’s teaching approach provides an interdisciplinary experience that combines content closely aligned with the other world languages, the RCDS Social Studies, Literature, and Language Arts programs.

“Latin forces students to look at words carefully,” explained Dr. G. “They learn how to decode the complexities of a word and how it’s constructed, gaining an appreciation for language and allowing them to reflect and make connections across subjects.”

Dr. G inspires a unique passion for Latin in his students by incorporating creative elements of fun into his instruction. It is not uncommon to find his class playing games or using props to enhance a lesson. In classic Dr. G fashion, he requested that students don togas for the awards ceremony.

“Latin can be boring stuff for your average seventh-grader,” said Dr. G. “It’s wonderful to see 12-year-olds take a deep dive into the analysis of words and to ask curious questions about grammar. Their study of Latin sparks wonder and curiosity about the world around them. It’s beautiful and it’s very rewarding.”

  • Awards & Accolades