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34 students earn awards on National Spanish Exam

Studies show the earlier a person can learn a second language the better.

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Arielle Chechile ’24 started studying Spanish in preschool. This month she scored one of the highest scores possible on the National Spanish Examinations. Coincidence?

Arielle, a student in Mr. Kevin Kane’s AP Spanish 5 class, earned a rare Silver Medal in the Level 5 category on the NSE. In total, 34 WMA students received awards based on their performance on this year’s national exam.

Quotes from Arielle

On what she likes about Spanish: “I just think it’s a very fluid and gentle language; overall very melodic and pleasant to both hear and speak. It’s a beautiful language and I love learning it.”

On earning a Level 5 Silver Medal: “I was excited to hear that I received an award. It was incredibly gratifying. It was a cool way to complete my time learning Spanish in a classroom setting.”

Quotes from Mr. Kane

On Arielle’s performance: “Arielle did extremely well on the National Spanish Exam at Level 5. It is very challenging to earn a medal at Level 5 due to the breadth of material that could be presented on the exam. This year there was significant emphasis placed on Listening Comprehension of native speakers and Arielle had a very strong performance on that section.”

On how WMA scored on this year’s exam: “Our students traditionally do well on this NSE. It is a good indicator of the depth of the program and this year was another good set of results.”

On why it’s important for students to take a foreign language: “Learning a second or third language provides many opportunities for students. The most obvious is the ability to communicate directly with a wide range of people in their native language. It also adds a flexibility of thought and understanding that often enhances the student's understanding of and strength in their own language. Additionally, students learn to appreciate both cultural similarities we have with others as well as an appreciation for cultural differences.”


WMA Award winners

Level 5

Silver: Arielle Chechile ’24

Honorable Mention: Harold Gay ’23, Ella Chandler ’24

Level 4

Honorable Mention: David Kakule ’23

Level 3

Silver: Ryan Cooley ’26

Bronze: Avery Kay ’26, Caterina Ravosa ’26, Isabelle Rivera ’25, Gabriel Hall ’26

Honorable Mention: Adrianna Chechile ’26, Carl Plichta ’23, Roman Barrett ’25, Dakotah Thomas ’26

Level 2

Silver: Lily Meier ’26

Bronze: Maddie Goodwin ’25, David Wibiralske ’24, Jerry Huang ’23, Shuoxi Qi ’23

Honorable Mention: Abigail Dorunda ’24, Malena Donovan ’25, Benjamin Jasmin ’24, Kishi Deji-Roberts ’24, Jan-Paul Ramesh ’26

Level 1

Silver: Tasia Timokhina ’25, Elle Poonsornsiri ’25

Bronze: Bohong Zhou ’26, Esosa Iyahen ’24, Ryan Clark ’25, Marie Zechner ’25

Honorable Mention: Ainsley Trueman ’26, Lauren Lubarsky ’26, Patrick Dorunda ’26, Rain Liu ’24, Evan Bertera ’26

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