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Seneca High School Students Compete in National Russian Essay Contest

The American Council of Teachers of Russian National Russian Essay Contest provides high school students the opportunity to demonstrate their writing proficiency in Russian.

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Tabernacle, NJ – Four Russian II students represented Seneca High School in the 40th National Russian Essay Contest on November 17, 2021.

The students are from left: Dylan Birnbohm-Kaminski, Luke Handt, Kerry Hartman, and Alex Sztajerwald (Photos provided)

This was the first year that Seneca participated.

Established 40 years ago, the American Council of Teachers of Russian National Russian Essay Contest provides high school students the opportunity to demonstrate their writing proficiency in Russian.

“The contest offers a unique opportunity to reward students for their progress in the study of the Russian language,” explained Seneca Russian Teacher Marian Barnum. “Students write essays in Russian on a topic announced at the beginning of the two-hour period. All students are given the same topic, but they are judged on their respective levels: Beginner
(Russian II), Intermediate (Russian III), or Advanced (AP Russian). In addition, LRHSD students write in Russian cursive, as in Russia it is the mark of an educated person to know how to write in script.”

Essays are judged at the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, and scores are baked upon task completion, comprehensibility, organization, vocabulary, and language control (grammar, spelling, punctuation).

All students whose essays receive Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Honorable Mention receive certificates. Gold, Silver, and Bronze essayists also
receive medals.

Last year was the first year that Russian was offered at Seneca High School.

The only other high schools in South Jersey that offer Russian are Cherokee High School (also in the LRHSD) and Vineland High School.

Awards will be announced in February.

About LRHSD

The Lenape Regional High School District’s four high schools – Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Seneca – as well as the Sequoia Alternative Program, educate approximately 6,850 students from eight communities in Burlington County.

The communities served include Evesham, Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle, and Woodland.

The Lenape Regional District is among the highest-achieving districts in the state, with an average graduation rate of 97.4% and an average combined SAT score of 1139.

A leader in progressive education, the LRHSD’s mission is to develop physically and emotionally healthy students who excel in an ever-changing world.

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