(l-r) Kristen Karam, Carissa Blumka, Katie Figliomeni, Francisco Sahelices, Colin Dolye, Abigail Johanek, Ayyan Ahmad
Seven Downers Grove North High School students who are studying Spanish attained national recognition for their excellent performance on the 2019 National Spanish Examinations, including: Ayyan Ahmad, Carissa Blumka, Colin Dolye, Katie Figliomeni, Abigail Johanek, Kristen Karam and Francisco Sahelices. In addition, 73 other students attained silver, bronze and honorable mention medals. The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grades 6 through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).
“Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious, because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 146,000 students participating in 2019,” ” said National Director of the Exams Kevin Cessna-Buscemi.
Student Ayyan Ahmad scored in the 99th Percentile of all the Level 4 Classroom Experience students taking the National Spanish Exam this year, earning a rank of 4th overall among the many hundreds of students in that category in the Chicagoland area. Spanish IV student Francisco Sahelices scored in the 96th Percentile of all of the Level 4 Bilingual students taking the National Spanish Exam this year. He earned a rank of 16th overall among the many hundreds of students in that category in the Chicagoland area. Both Ayyan and Francisco were recognized at a special ceremony hosted by the Chicagoland Chapter of the AATSP.
Students from Downers Grove North High School have a long history of high achievement on these exams, taught by Spanish teachers Joshua Bodenheimer, Ruth Dukala, Paula Fernández, Sonja Kalic, Jennifer Mariman, and Jeanne Seyller.