World Language Poetry Recitation at WPU

World Language Poetry Recitation at WPU

HHS students attending the Orlando Saa Foreign Language Poetry Recitation at William Paterson University

Ruqaiyah ElSaawy, Staff Writer

Hawthorne High School’s Italian and Spanish classes, led by Italian teacher Karen McSherry and Spanish teacher Karina Rivas, competed in the annual Orlando Saa Foreign Language Poetry Recitation at William Paterson University on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Out of the 900 middle and high school students competing, HHS sponsored seven competitors, four from the Italian class and three from the Spanish class. The students, Jon DiFilippo, Stefanie Hauser, Sebby Inturrisi, Erika LaMonaca, Amy Moreno, Nina Nadirashvili, and Adamae Santiago, were chosen by the teachers based on their pronunciation skills and knowledge of the language.

Octavio De La Suaree, chairman of the WPU’s language department and co-founder of the competition, told NorthJersey.com that the competition strives to “develop cultural awareness” and “point out to students the importance of acquiring a second language in this global economy.”

Within the competition, selected students had to recite a poem in one of nine different languages represented, with HHS students reciting poetry in Italian and Spanish. Prior to the competition, competitors were given pre-selected poems based on a student’s level. Students were then required to memorize and recite the poem at the competition.

McSherry commented on HHS students’ performance, saying that “[the students] were well prepared… The experience was fun and it was worthwhile for everyone.”

HHS junior Nina Nadirashvili commented on the competition, saying, “Like last year, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing and reciting poetry and was once again amazed that around 900 people got together to experience this incredible event.”