Congrats La Vergne High School- Linguistic Geniuses!

I got this news release and was super pleased to see our own dear LHS had done so well:



(MURFREESBORO) – Middle-school and high-school students from middle and east
Tennessee competed in the Sixth Annual Linguistics Olympiad at MTSU on Saturday,
Jan. 28. More than 80 students representing schools from Knox, Rutherford, Sumner and
Williamson counties, as well as Metro Nashville, sharpened their language analysis skills
by tracing the roots of modern English words to their Proto-Indo-European ancestors,
building the longest English word following a set of rules, and solving linguistics
problems on Hungarian and Welsh, as well as exotic languages, like the languages of the
Māori people of New Zealand and of the Dyirbal tribe in Queensland.

In the high school team competition, the victors were: first place, Ravenwood High
School team of Sean Yao, Zach Glick, Austin Hetherington, Simon Lowen; second place,
Franklin High School team of Kenzie Bottoms, Sydney Fobare, and Ella Durman; third
place, Ravenwood High School team of Jeri Timmons, Christopher Nicastro, Stanley
Xiang, and A.J. Wei; honorable mention, Siegel High School team of Brooke Barnes,
Maria Garcia, David Qu, and Heather Delbridge.

The winners in the high school individual competition were: first place, Brennan
Langebach of Centennial High School; second place, Lakin Elliott of Blackman High
School; third place, Jacob Berexa of Ravenwood High School; honorable mention,
Kristin Warf of Blackman High School.

Capturing top honors in the middle school team competition were: first place, Sunset
Middle School team of Jolene Lei, Amy Ouyang, and Sonal Khedkar; second place,
Greenway School team of Abbey Huber, Rachel Anderson, Will Kersey, and Jake
Green; third place, Heritage Middle School team of Julie Chapman, Gillian Lozak, and
Samantha Elleman; honorable mention, Blackman Middle School team of Savannah
Phillips, Rachel Stroud, Hailey Lopez, and Gayle Manacsa.

The winners in the middle school individual competition were: first place, Micah
Mickbel of West Valley Middle School; second place, Daniel Adunas of West End IB
Middle School; third place, Swasti Mishra of Head Math and Science Middle Academy.


Linguistic Genius awards for best problem solution were awarded to the Franklin High
School team of Craig Jones, Jessica Smith, Emily MacLeod, and Mandy Tennille; the
Central Magnet School team of Raleigh Butler, Rory Butler, Nausheen Qureshi, and
Hayley Klumpe; the Franklin High School team of Lauren Souter, Hannah White, Laura
Bentley, and John Yim; the Siegel High School team of Keaton Davis, Joe Cahoon, Ian
Delbridge, and Katie Gregory; the Siegel High School team of Hannah Fry, Jade Brewer,
Ciera Cope, and Nikita Engineer; and the LaVergne High School team of Kimberlee
Cooper, Brennan Foy, and Richard Maradiaga.

The MTSU Linguistics Olympiad is sponsored by the MTSU English Department under
the direction of Dr. Aleka Blackwell, associate professor of linguistics. “Our mission
is to share our love for linguistics with middle- and high-school students in Tennessee
and to provide them with an opportunity to immerse themselves in this field of inquiry,”
Blackwell says. “With many languages on the verge of extinction, we also hope to inspire
students to become involved in efforts to preserve endangered languages.”

This year’s competition was supported by the MTSU Public Service Committee and
the MTSU Richard and Virginia Peck Fund Committee. MTSU faculty from the
departments of English and Psychology and graduate students from the Ph.D. Program in
Literacy Studies served as judges at this year’s competition. More information about the
competition can be found at


Way to go, LHS!

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