June 01, 2020
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Orono High School junior wins National Travel Award, named Foreign Language Association of Maine Student of the Year

Community Author: Heidi Clarke
Post Date:
Heidi Clarke | BDN
Heidi Clarke | BDN

On March 2nd, at the annual FLAME Conference in Portland, Elijah McGill was presented with the 2018 Student Recognition Award in front of nearly 300 World Language teachers. His language teachers were also in attendance and they were delighted to see Eli presented with this award. They say that Eli’s aptitude in World Languages is unsurpassed; he truly has a gift. His inquisitiveness, enthusiasm, and skill are unparalleled, and his language proficiency makes him deserving of this award. They are proud of his achievements and pleased to have them recognized by language leaders across the state. Orono High School is thrilled to receive this honor for a second year in a row. Matthew Williamson was the 2017 recipient of this award, and we hope there will be many more in the future.


Elijah, a junior at OHS, has also won the 2018 Junior Study Abroad Scholarship for his achievement on the National Spanish Examination and for his excellent skills in the Spanish language. 


This national award, valued at over $3,500, is given each year to twenty-four students from across the United States who become eligible by earning a high score on the National Spanish Examination and then submitting samples of their written and oral work in Spanish to a selection committee. 


In July, Elijah will be traveling to Spain with the other 23 winners to study Spanish language and culture at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.  “This two-week immersion program is designed to allow our top students to study university-level material during morning classes and then go on an excursion to see first hand what they’ve learned in class.”  Said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, Director of the National Spanish Examinations. 


Orono High School, which has a long history of excellence in academics, has only participated in the National Spanish Examination for the last 2 years.  Congratulations to student Elijah McGill and his Spanish and French teacher, Christine Crocker and Jae Hubbard, who should be very proud of their accomplishments.