Hosted by Harbord Collegiate in Toronto, the Ontario High School German Contest took place for the 45th time on April 9th! This year’s participating high schools were: University of Toronto Schools (UTS), Harbord CI, Bluevale C.I., Waterdown District High School, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB Continuing Education, Halton DSB Continuing Education, Westmount Secondary School, Craig Kielburger Secondary School, The Woodlands School, and Laura Secord Secondary School. Hailing from The Woodlands School, Michelle Zheng, last year’s winner in the beginner category, returned in 2016 to take first prize in the senior group – a PAD study trip to Germany. Generously funded by Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, the award is valued at over two thousand dollars and includes airfare, course tuition, and accommodations. Go Michelle! The German Department at the University of Toronto was pleased to contribute to another $2,500 in cash prizes that were awarded to the province’s outstanding students of German. Second prize and $250 went to Taylor Shirtliff-Hinds of UTS. Cash prizes in the senior category also went to (in order of ranking) Emma Charters, Matthew Rose, James Hogan, Komal Patel, Anny Xiong, Eileen Sun, Terri Bugler, Connor Glossop, Aakash Budhera, and Ethan Grasley. “Unplaced but spectacular” in the senior group were: Beatrix Marsh, Benjamin Jones, Carley Bolton, Devin Gordon, Ife Adeyemi, Jens van den Berg, Keegan Hammond, and Moeyyad Qureshi.
This year there was an equally impressive showing in the enthusiastic beginner category. The Woodland School’s Prerana Keerthi took first prize ($250), followed by Gautam Manohar (UTS) and Allana Sinclair (Craig Kielburger) in second and third respectively. Cash awards also went to (in order of ranking) Rhianne Whittaker, Alice Vlasov, Ritika Nair, Zainab Khan, and Natalie Ermashova. The “unplaced but spectacular” group was particular strong this year. Congratulations to Amanda Plotnik, Amin Alghoul, Brent Westlake, Gabriel Beiner, Lily Smith, Owen Rowland-Fawcett, and Veronica Chankov – see you next year in the senior category!
As in previous years, students with previous exposure to German participated in a separate category. Stephen Chankov (UTS), the 2015 winner in the senior category, took first prize ($200 and gift cards), followed by a very competitive Ali Neufeld (Laura Secord). Lexi Hale and Markus Hale were “unplaced but spectacular” runners up.
This extraordinary event would not have been possible without the incredible enthusiasm and commitment of the organizing committee led by the indomitable Jimmy Steele (York University/Toronto DSB). Committee members this year were Andrea Pils (The Woodlands School), Anne Popovich (Waterdown), Gabriela Szolnoki-Bourgeois (Halton DSB), and Nicola Townend (UTS). Special thanks are of course also due to all of Ontario’s dedicated high school German teachers and in particular to local contest staff sponsors Linda Jung (Bluevale C.I.), Andrea Howson (Craig Kielburger), Gabriela Szolnoki-Bourgeois, Sean Gacich (Harbord CI), Katharina Daldrup (Laura Secord), Nicola Townend, Anne Popovich, Christopher Eckart (Westmount CI), and Andrea Pils (Woodlands).
We in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures congratulate all of those involved and look forward to seeing many contest alumni in our classes at the University of Toronto!