Calvert Excels as Only Maryland Team to Attend 11th Annual Yale Certamen

This fall, 22 Calvert Middle Schoolers participated in the 11th Annual Yale Certamen, a quiz-bowl style game for students of Latin, Greek, and classical civilizations. Ten Seventh Graders and 12 Eighth Graders competed virtually and took on schools from across the country, with our Eighth Graders appearing as the only middle school team in their division. 
Notably, Eighth Graders Teddy B., Jay S., Ella C., and Jack M. successfully defeated high school teams including Phillips Exeter Academy, while our Seventh Graders won four of their six rounds and finished second in the other two. Seventh Graders Liam D., Claire S., Johanna P., Finley A., and Julianna I. won all three of their matches. 

Yale Certamen is a national Certamen tournament that helps introduce middle and high school students to Yale University, specifically the Classics Department. More than 90 Calvert graduates have matriculated from Yale throughout the years, and six Calvert alumni are currently enrolled as students. 

“I am so proud of our students,” Head Master Andrew Holmgren said. “They prepared well, and that is reflected in the results. I cannot think of a more Calvert thing to do than compete against high school teams in a Latin competition at Yale.”

The tournament began with a keynote address by Kirk Freudenburg, the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Classics and Department Chair at Yale University. Afterward, the teams were divided into Zoom break-out rooms to compete. Calvert was the only team representing Maryland. Our students faced teams from Florida, Texas, Vermont, New York, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. 

It was the second year for our Eighth Graders, who came in 14th out of 21 high school teams and moved up a division to compete against 18 high school teams. The Seventh Grade team, which has only been together for two months, competed against 17 other middle and high schools in a beginner bracket.

“The most impressive part of the weekend came on Friday night when a Seventh Grade student shared a screenshot from a video about the Dative of Possession, asking me if it was different than the Genitive of Possession -- complete with a grammatically correct rendition of that Genitive of Possession, neither of which we have even seen in our text yet,” Magister Snow said. “I think I will take the week off and let Claire take my classes!

At Calvert, Latin is introduced in the Seventh Grade. This introductory level course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to first-year grammar, relevant classical mythology, early Roman history, Roman culture, and classical geography. 

“Next stop for our Calvert team? The Princeton Certamen in early 2022,” Magister Snow said.
Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.