By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
Fighting for the prize and glory, competitors lined up to represent their countries — at least in tongue.
Students in world language programs at New Albany High School competed in the International Olympic Games for the first time since 1995. The event was started by Leland Howard, a former German teacher at the school, in 1984 with the German and Austrian Society.
Eva Seymour, the school’s current German teacher, said she wanted to bring the competition back to give the language clubs a sense of unity again.
“I think this event kind of brings the students and teachers back together again with a sense of comraderie,” Seymour said. “We’re all close and the competitive aspect is more for fun than anything else.”
The school’s Latin, French, German and Spanish clubs competed in tug-of-war, boccie, soccer, kickball and a sauerkraut-eating contest.
Matt Jacobi, French teacher, said aside from having some healthy competition, the event gave students the opportunity to socialize.
“It’s a good way to get the kids together,” Jacobi said. “If nothing else, they’ll meet some new people. In a school of 2,000 kids, it’s hard to get to know everybody.”
Luke Bohn, a senior in the Latin Club, said he was glad to see students not only get a chance to have fun with each other, but also see the Latin Club revived for the first year in a while.
“It’s really exciting to see us come back,” Bohn said. “We have a chance to come back to the school and join in the comraderie with the other language programs. I really think this is two big steps forward for the school at once.”
Cheryl Neafus, Spanish teacher, said she’s retiring this year, but is glad to see something particpated in before revived.
“I’m really happy about it and I’m optimistic about the new department heads,” Neafus said. “The students are friends with the other kids in these classes and I think it’s fun for them to come together in a non-academic sense.”