Latin Club Hosts State Convention


Reagan Kaelle and Grace Liu

Miramonte Latin Club hosted the California Junior Classical League (CAJCL) State Convention from Friday, March 31 to Saturday, April 1. In total, 788 students attended from eight middle schools and 26 high schools across the state. Seniors and Convention Presidents Megan Chui and Jessica Milmoe planned the event along with Latin teacher and CAJCL State Chair Matthew Davis and Latin teacher Jennifer Mullowney. 

“Running State Convention was super fun! All of the Miramonte students came together beforehand to set up different activities, create decorations, organize name tags and swag bags. It was really inspiring to see so many Miramonte students come together to help put on Convention! During Convention, I spent most of my time either at a general assembly or running from activity to activity ensuring everything was running smoothly,” Milmoe said.

Schools arrived at 3:30 p.m. on Friday for general chapter registration. The first general assembly started at 6:30 p.m. Afterwards, from 7-8:30 p.m., schools went to designated rooms for academic testing. For the rest of the night, students participated in other events such as swimming, a scavenger hunt, chess, and dodge ball until 10:45 p.m. 

On Saturday, delegates began with a spirit competition from 8:45-9 a.m. “Magister, Magistra, Jessica, and I are super proud of Miramonte for winning spirit in the large schools category this year! Historically, Miramonte wins the convention as a whole, but we haven’t won spirit in several years. Spirit is judged by CAJCL board members, like myself, based on different criteria: participation, unity, relation to convention theme, and creativity. It’s very difficult for larger delegations to be in sync when doing the choreography for cheers, but because each Latin class had practiced in the week leading up to Convention, everyone was confident going into spirit,” Chui said. 

After spirit, students stayed in the big gym for the second general assembly from 9-10 a.m. For the rest of the morning and early afternoon, students explored a variety of different activities, including chariot racing, Certamen (Latin quiz bowl), Harry Potter and Percy Jackson Kahoots, a costume contest, volleyball, basketball, track and field, ultimate frisbee, tennis, community service, and perler beads. 

In the late afternoon, students attended two Colloquia sessions, academic lectures given by guest speakers. Topics ranged from slavery in the ancient world to a comparison of the USA and the fall of the Roman Empire. After the sessions, each school went to a designated room for voting fellowship, where each Junior Classical League chapter voted to elect new state board members. The third and final general assembly took place from 6:35-7:15 p.m., and students engaged in activities such as singing karaoke, viewing a movie, or watching the talent show That’s Entertainment for the remainder of the night until around 11 p.m. 

Miramonte won a number of awards at Convention, claiming 1st place overall in the large high school category, 1st place spirit, and 1st place publicity, organized by junior Vivienne Arndt. Arndt was elected to the CAJCL State Board to serve as First Vice President for the 2023-2024 school year. Senior Grace Liu also won a $2000 CAJCL scholarship to study Latin and/or Greek in college. 

The event culminated from over a year of planning and demanded the work of 16 student-run committees ranging from preconvention contests and registration to food and facilities. Latin Club officers began the process in September by appointing committee heads. Weekly work meetings began in January and culminated in daily meetings in the week leading up to the arrival of other delegations. 

“Planning State Convention was a lot of work. Jessica and I had to make contracts for every vendor, every company, and every order we made because of the way ASB works, but we had a lot of help along the way from Ms. Erickson and Magister Davis,” Chui said.

The nature of the convention’s registration made confirming exact attendee numbers difficult until about three weeks from the event, so student leaders faced challenges organizing time-sensitive elements of the event such as catering contracts. Chui and Milmoe also reported to the CAJCL Board throughout the process, creating an additional level of coordination. 

“With the help of the Miramonte committee heads, Jessica and I were able to run a successful convention,” Chui added. “During the actual event, we had to solve a lot of little problems throughout the weekend but because we had so many Miramonte students ready to help, we were really efficient. It was rewarding to see everyone’s hard work pay off that weekend.”