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Lily Meier '26 strikes gold on national Spanish exam

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Lily Meier ’26 loves to communicate.

Actually, ella le encanta comunicarse.

Lily, who has taken Spanish lessons and classes for nine years, earned a Gold Medal on the 2024 National Spanish Exam. A student in La Profe Maridol Linares’s Honors Spanish III class, Lily took the Level 3 exam.

Quotes from Lily

Regarding her performance on the test: “I'm very proud about how I did on the exam. I prepped for it a lot beforehand and was excited to see how my work paid off. It is a great honor to receive this prestigious award.”

Regarding what she loves about learning Spanish: “I enjoy learning Spanish because of its beauty and culture. The class is interesting and fun, giving me the skills I need to excel in the language and communicate with Spanish-speaking people throughout Europe and Latin America. The lessons are engaging, immersing us in the Spanish world through celebrating traditions, watching modern Spanish television, and cooking common cuisine from various Hispanic countries.”

Quotes from Ms. Linares

Regarding Lily as a student: “Lily is an exceptional student who impresses me with her dedication and performance. What sets her apart is her understanding that learning Spanish isn't merely about mastering a subject, but embracing it as a tool for communication and connection. She doesn't just memorize vocabulary and grammar; she immerses herself in the language, understanding cultural context.”

On how WMA’s students did on this year’s national exam: “While there's always room for improvement, particularly in areas like listening comprehension and nuanced cultural understanding, I believe that the students' performance this year reflects their dedication and hard work throughout the academic year. Overall, I'm proud of how the students tackled the national language exam and I'm confident that they will continue to excel in their language studies in the future.”

On the importance of learning a foreign language: “One of the reasons I believe it's crucial for students to learn a foreign language is that studying it challenges students to step out of their comfort zones and develop resilience, perseverance and adaptability. It's a journey of self-discovery that fosters personal growth and confidence, not to mention career opportunities, and exposure to different cultures, traditions and perspectives that helps them develop empathy and understanding for people from diverse backgrounds, fostering a more inclusive worldview.”

List of award winners

Level 1

Honorable Mention: Min-Chan Koo ’26, Natalie Blais ’27, Rosie Rodriguez ’27, Vladyslav Nikulin ’25, Brody O’Hara ’27, Woohyuk Seong ’26, Sebastian Medina ’27

Bronze Medal: Charlotte Young ’27

Silver Medal: Kanyin Ajayi ’25

Level 2

Honorable Mention: Taisiya Timokhina ’25, Ainsley Trueman ’26, Sylvia Tobias ’27, Christian Sanchez ’27, Mya Bates ’26, Lindsey Wiatrowski ’27, Brendan Ricca ’27, Callie Klepacki ’27, Iyanna Hodge ’27, Ryan Clark ’25

Bronze Medal: Patrick Dorunda ’26

Silver Medals: Nathan Presz ’27, Elle Poonsornsiri ’25, Pietro Leone Avanza ’25

Level 3

Honorable Mention: Jan-Paul Ramesh ’26, David Wibiralske ’24, Wyatt Cavanaugh ’27, Malena Donovan ’25, Eoin Cavanaugh ’27, Romy Allen-Shubert ’27, Dylan Shonak ’27

Gold Medal: Lily Meier ’26

Level 4

Honorable Mention: Dakotah Thomas ’26

Bronze Medal: Gabriel Hall ’26

Silver: Roman Barrett ’25

Level 5

Honorable Mention: Jimin Hong ’25


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