Seneca High students talk about how they win Russian language prizes

Five students from Seneca High School studying Russian won prizes in the national “Olympiada of Spoken Russian” competition held on March 23.

The gold medals in the Beginner / Level 1 category of the national competition were senior Sharon Feinlab and freshmen Dylan Birnbohm-Kaminski, Alexander Sztajerwald and William Xenakis. Freshman Luke Handt received a silver medal.

All students follow Marian V. Barnum’s Russian 1 course.

“The Spoken Russian Olympiada is a national competition for high school students in Russian held annually across the country,” Barnum explained. “Seneca students participate in the Delaware Valley Olympiad hosted by Temple University.

“It is a chance for the students to be in an environment where everyone speaks Russian,” she continued.

Students in the competition perform three tasks in Russian: Talking about topics such as family, school or sports; discuss Russian composers, art, history or literature; and recite poetry from memory

“The Olympiada is not just a place to celebrate knowledge of Russian language and culture,” Barnum said. “This is an opportunity to develop skills and self-confidence while having fun speaking Russian.

“There is no other language competition like this in the United States,” Barnum noted. “Seneca students are starting to prepare months in advance for this unique and enjoyable event. It is with great pride that we announce these results.

Seneca is one of four high schools in the Lenape Regional School District that educates 6,850 students in eight communities in Burlington County.

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Sylvester L. Goldfarb

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