Thornton Academy students have won first, second, and third prize for the state of Maine in the Classical Association of New England (CANE) student writing contest. All three students have been entered into the next level of competition with students from throughout New England and will find out in February if they have placed. The topic of the contest was “The Men Who Want to Live Forever,” and was based on a passage from the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Students provided advice and warnings to billionaires who have expressed interest in living forever.
Calvin Christoforo, Jade Kruczek, and Henry Sylvester are all smiles after placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
For the second consecutive year, senior Henry Sylvester of Saco placed first in the contest. His paper made additional historical references, as he compared today’s billionaires to Ponce de Leon and his quest for the fountain of youth.
Second place went to junior Jade Kruczek of Saco and third place was won by senior Calvin Christoforo also from Saco.
Kruczek composed original poetry for the competition. She challenged men who might want to live forever to truly consider the consequences. “You never know what you might get. There is always a catch. Do you really want to live forever?” These are deep questions for a teenager to pose to adults.
Christoforo wrote a short story featuring characters from modern-day Wall Street. “It’s fun to think about Latin in modern times,” Christoforo said about his composition.
All three students are in Sally Cody’s Latin III / IV class. Mrs. Cody has been teaching Latin at Thornton Academy for 42 years and still has enthusiasm for the project-based learning that she does in her classes. She values how her students can connect the ancient world to their emotions and experiences today through projects.
"Even though I say I teach Latin, it’s more than the language. It’s really a time period and my students have a whole world to experience. I get to time travel with them," Cody says.
Mrs. Cody was only able to submit three papers to the CANE writing contest, making the fact that her students placed in first, second, and third even more remarkable. In the past, Thornton Academy students have placed highly in the the New England competition, and Cody is hopeful that these students will finish at the top as well.
In addition to Latin, Thornton Academy offers classes in Ancient Greek, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.