LSMSA French Club members receive awards at ALCFES Congress

Rachel Judson, Sara Moore, Elaina Bachman, Colt Crain, Katriane Creel, Sophia Abbahou, Acacia Coker, Lucy Silverman, Colton Hayes. Not picture Caleb Baham.

Students in the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’s (LSMSA) French Club attended the 39th annual Association Louisianaise des Clubs Francais des Ecoles Secondaires (ALCFES French Club Convention) in New Orleans.

From Feb. 1-3, the group participated in a Scavenger Hunt in the French Quarter and was able to explore French exhibits and architecture. They also took part in several competitions that were hosted throughout the weekend, receiving first place in the French Video Competition and second place in both the Banner and Music Competitions.

“I am so proud of all the students who participated,” said Instructor of French Nathalie Malti, who co-chaperoned the trip alongside Principal Lecturer of Physics Robert Dalling. “It is so rewarding getting to see them do well in the competitions and have fun using French outside of the confines of the classroom.”

In addition to these achievements, Senior Colt Crain participated in and won a scholarship competition to attend a two-week summer program at Excelia Group La Rochelle in France. The award, provided by the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), includes host family housing, a portion of meals, classes, a one-day ticket to the Francofolies music festival and access to other sites.

“The competition is challenging because students not only take a written test, but are also interviewed by a panel of foreign judges,” said Malti. “The scholarship offers a French immersion experience to Louisiana students in need of improving their French language skills and cultural awareness for their current and future careers in the state.”

Acacia Coker (’20), who was also in attendance at the conference and who is currently serving as the ALCFES’s state board vice-president, was appointed as the organization’s new president for the 2019-2020 school year.

“As a state officer, Acacia attended monthly board meetings in Baton Rouge and helped plan for the convention,” said Malti. “She also spent countless hours working on the school’s video and banner, recruited and coordinated the help of French Club members, and made sure the deadline for submission was met. Through her dedication and hard work, Acacia has proven that she is ready for the next challenge as president of ALCFES.”

Other LSMSA students in attendance at the convention were Katriane Creel (’20), Lucy Silverman (’21), Sara Moore (’20), Sophia Abbahou (’21), Rachel Judson (’19), Caleb Baham (’21), Colton Hayes (’21) and Elaina Bachman (’21). French Club members who were unable to attend the conference but participated in competition projects are Cametrius Warren (’20), Julianne Le (’20), Alby Algawi (’20), Hadley Hines (’19), Elyse Duplantier (’19), Anne-Marie Higginbotham (’19) and Harkiran Kaur (’19). Jacqueline Schlamp (‘21), Jayden Gray (’21) and Kaitlin Mong (’21) assisted the French Club with the creation of the banner.

The ALCFES is an association of high schools dedicated to preserving and encouraging the use of the French Language throughout the state of Louisiana. The trip to the organization’s annual conference was made possible by the LSMSA Foundation, who covered a portion of total trip expenses.

LSMSA offers a robust course selection for students interested in learning about other languages and cultures.