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The French, German word

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Foreign language students honored at state level; teacher studies abroad

By Kate Rash

It’s already been an exciting semester for Harrison County High School foreign language teacher Tonya Wagoner.

Several of Wagoner’s students will be honored for their performance at the State Language Festival in May.

Four HCHS students, Tori McLaren, Daniel Klapheke, David Roberts and BethAnn McKinney will receive a Kendall Star award at the awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 18, in Lexington.

“The Kendall Star rewards them and kind of encourages them to continue,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner said she has been taking her students to the state competition for the past five to six years.

Students, she said, compete in different events that test their skills in French or German.

Klapheke and Roberts competed and scored second at state in a conversation event where they spoke to one another in German.

“It was nerve racking,” Roberts said about the competition.

McLaren also received second in her event where she told a judge about her life, speaking entirely in German.

In French reading comprehension, McKinney placed first in the state.

“I like the way it sounds,” McKinney said about French. “It’s just a pretty language.”

While a majority of HCHS students are enrolled in Spanish classes, Wagoner said French and German shares an equal amount of possibilities for the student.

“We’re very lucky at this school to be able to offer kids language choices,” she said.

For Klapheke, he chose German because it was something different.

“I didn’t want to do Spanish or French,” he said. “It sounded like the most interesting language.”

It’s the German language and culture that Wagoner will learn more about as she travels abroad this fall.

Wagoner was one of the teachers across the state chosen for the Atlantic-Bridge program, which sends high school teachers to Germany to promote a better understanding between the United States and Germany.

“I was really happy,” Wagoner said about participating in the program.

Wagoner’s all-expense-paid trip will begin Sept. 25 and will include meeting many German leaders and visiting numerous sites.

Wagoner said she is excited for the opportunity to learn more about the German culture and bring that knowledge back to her HCHS classroom.

Wagoner will return on Oct. 8.