T.C. Williams High School senior Jillian Schiele has been named as the 2015 “Spirit of the Virginia Junior Classical League” for her commitment to Latin and determination to instill her own passion for the Classics in others.
Schiele was given the Sue Robertson “Spirit of JCL” Award at the Virginia Junior Classical League Convention for her dedication to promoting Latin among her peers through her role as president of the T.C. Williams Latin Club.
“This was a real honor and I am so proud to have been chosen for this award, but really I am just following something I love. The fact Latin is so logical and methodical makes it easy to understand. It has introduced me to a wide range of interesting poems that I would not have otherwise had access to. It’s just a shame that it is no longer a spoken,” Shiele said.
The Spirit of JCL is one of the highest honors VJCL bestows and is given annually to the one student with who demonstrates genuine enthusiasm for the Classics, a desire to participate in as many JCL contests and activities as possible, and a genuine helpfulness, friendliness, and respectfulness to all. In addition to being given an engraved silver cup, Jillian also received a free packet to the 2016 National Junior Classical League Convention in Bloomington, Indiana.
“Jillian was nominated for the award based on her ability to always think before making decisions. She makes it a priority to learn and meet as many people as she can at the convention in addition to being passionate and enthusiastic about the Latin culture,” said Redpath.
Shiele fell in love with Latin in seventh grade at George Washington Middle School. Her favorite Latin reads are poems by Virgil and Satyricon by Petronius.
“The way Petronius writes is just so funny. He pokes fun at the excesses of Roman living at the time, such a people who stage their own funerals. It is a true commentary of Roman life at that time,” Shiele said.
The Virginia Junior Classical League Convention is the annual gathering of Latin students from around the state and involves academic tests, performative tests and graphic arts contests related to the Classics. Shiele was one of 27 students from T.C. Williams to take part. Between them the students, who are taught by Justin Redpath, earned 14 ribbons for fifth place or above in the competition.
It was a joint celebration as Redpath was elected to be chair of the Convention for the next three years.