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by Corey Poole

Congratulations to 17 Latin students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) who were recognized for their performance on the online National Classical Etymology Exam in December.

“We wish all our Latinists fortunam bonam as they prepare for the big one, the National Latin Exam, next week,” said Dr. Morris Tichenor, associate lecturer of Latin and Greek.

The NCEE tests the students’ knowledge of the Latin and Greek roots of English words.

“Etymology is a core part of our early Latin curriculum,” Dr. Tichenor explained. “Learning where English words come from, how words change as they are passed from one language to another, and how one word can take on many different meanings over time. The goal that the students hear me repeat each lesson is to “increase their wordhord” (Old English for “vocabulary”).”

Gold Medalists:

Dakoda Rapinchuk (Latin I)

Nathaniel Vise (Latin I)

Silver Medalists:

Sofia Adams-Giron (Latin II)

McKenzie Barker (Latin I)

Ragan Penix (Latin I)

Sunny Yusufji (Latin I)

Bronze Medalists:

Cohl Cliburn (Latin I)

Simone Greenup (Latin I)

Leighanna Kain (Latin III)

Kamryn Keys (Latin I)

Isabella Le (Latin II)

Isabella Leslie (Latin I)

Kate Long (Latin I)

Kyler Naquin (Latin II)

Basil Pugh (Latin I)

Grayce Rhodes (Latin II)

Allison Viator (Latin II)

LSMSA has educated highly motivated, high-achieving high school students from throughout the state since 1983. Inquiring parents and students may visit to learn more, complete online applications, and submit transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and current teachers’ recommendations. For more information about this tuition-free, publicly funded residential high school, please visit


Group 1: Pictured from left are Isabella Le (’22) of Lafayette, Sophia Adams-Giron (’23) of Alexandria, Gray Rhodes (’22) of Benton, Allison Viator (’22) of New Iberia, and Kyler Naquin (’22) of Houma.

Group 2: Pictured from left are Kamryn Keys (’23) of Lake Charles, Sunny Yusufji (22) of Shreveport, Ragan Penix (’24) of Athens, and McKenzie Barker (’24) of Benton.

Group 3: Pictured from left are Kate Long (’23) of Alexandria, Nathaniel Vise (’24) of Walker, Cohl Cliburn (’24) of Lafayette, Dakoda Rapinchuk (’24) of Saint Martinville, and Basil Pugh (’24) of Trout.

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