GET TO KNOW THE JOES
by Jon Hanover, Editorial Editor
At the awards ceremony for the 2004 Ohio Junior Classical League state convention, the resounding question was, "How did West Geauga know all of the answers?" Other teams sat and watched as West Geauga went up to receive award after award. At one point, West Geauga took every spot, one through ten, in a single subject. This prompted a teacher sitting in front of West Geauga to accuse them, only half jokingly, of cheating.
The weekend of March 15, 2004 West Geauga's Latin Academic Team completely obliterated its competition at the OJCL Convention. It did not matter that so many of the other schools were private schools. It did not matter that some other schools started their Latin programs years earlier than West G. It did not even matter that West Geauga brought a huge amount of students who learned Latin only this year. It never matters. West Geauga again, for the second year in a row, owned the entire state.
Every year about forty Ohio schools with Latin programs bring around 1000 students to compete in a weekend of objective tests, jeopardy-like competition, and various projects. West Geauga always performs very well in the academics of the weekend. This year, in fact, we held a third of the spots in the "Top 50" for the Individual Academic Sweepstakes. In the top fifteen alone were Rob Goehrke, Courtney Cikach, Anne Owens, Jon Hanover, and Joel Bihary.
While most of the forty competing schools did not even get 2 points per capita this year, West G. reigned with 26.7. Shaker, the school closest to West G, was only able to garner 13.7 points, a feat that, admittedly, would normally be a cause worthy of celebration. This year, however, even 13.7 points completely paled in comparison to West Geauga's outrageous first place score of 26.7.
Many of the other schools do not take the academics of the weekend as seriously as West Geauga. The most notable of these schools is Stow, who is able to win first every year in the Overall Sweepstakes (which includes art projects) because they take twice as many students as anyone else and every student makes a project. These students' project scores tend to even out the academic scores of every other school. (In fact, their academic scores were about a third of West Geauga's, although they had twice as many students.) Even competing against such a team, West Geauga, on strength of academics alone, was able to place a very high third in the Overall Sweepstakes.