Gilpin Spanish classes compete in World Language Day at UNC

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Students present art, drama, dance, and more

by Patty Unruh

Gilpin High School’s Spanish classes were immersed in a world of language and culture in the fun and educational setting of World Language Day on April 12 at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

For the past 47 years, the University has sponsored World Language Day. More than 1,000 students and teachers from all over Colorado and Wyoming attend each spring. Gilpin’s focus was on Spanish, but there were four other language sections as well: French, German, Chinese, and Japanese. All languages had five different proficiency levels

Su Henry, secondary Spanish teacher at Gilpin, prepared 40 students for various competitions at the event. They all worked hard on their presentations for several months leading up to World Language Day.

Gilpin’s Alexis Finlayson submitted a pencil drawing in the art competition. Alex Martin and Cicely Lepro constructed a Mayan pyramid for the piñata competition. Angel Gomez was a Spanish 2 “Show & Tell” Heritage Speaker, relating a story about a medal he won in football. (Heritage Spanish is spoken by students who originally have a Spanish-speaking background, as opposed to a new learner.) Spanish 3 students Katelyn Armstrong, Carly Johnson, Aspen Nadeau, and Josh Trujillo presented a four-minute skit in Spanish.

In the “Dramatic Cultural Entertainment” category, Spanish 1 students put on a play in Spanish called “Iztaccihuatl y Popocatepetl,” about a pre-Aztec legend. Those acting or working on the set for the play included Nicole Adams, Vic Brandon, Claire Diekman, JP DiMauro, Aidan Freeman, Bailey Hobson-Kroll, Joyce Jewell, Alicia Johnson, Ashley Parkhurst, Samantha Smith, Sarah Trujillo, Lena Warren, Jessica Wilhelm, Jessie Alexander, Taby Gray, Dakota Kennedy, Maddie Kennedy, Logan Prewitt, Isabel Szucs, and Alyssa Webb.

Several Spanish 2 students helped with the set of the play: Aspen Cowles, Cheyenne Cowles, Shania Gonzales, Lexi Lautrup, Cooper Lindberg, Brekken Billman, Will Lorenz, Kristi Schmidt, Lexi Finlayson, and Alex Wilhelm.

Both Spanish 1 and 2 pupils wrote, directed, and created a one-minute commercial in Spanish.

Spanish 2 and 3 students – Alex Martin, Cicely Lepro, Angel Gomez, Tristan Froio, Courtney Holmes, and Aspen Nadeau — entertained with a medley of music and dance, including salsa, merengue, cumbia, and the tango.

Three Gilpin students came home with awards. Aidan Freeman won first place for his Spanish 1 presentation entitled, “Who Am I?” Eli Buckland won a participation ribbon for playing soccer.

American Sign Language (ASL) competition was new this year. Brekken Billman won first place for ASL Storytelling. Brekken and fellow student Taby Gray use ASL in their daily lives, qualifying them as Native Signers.

Besides the competitions that the Gilpin students entered, there were contests in memorized poetry recitation, extemporaneous speech, and talent, as well as a food tasting activity featuring authentic recipes from the various cultures.

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