Michigan City High School students Destiny Meneweather and Mia Zemrowski placed 3rd in the state at the Japanese Olympiad held on February 25 at Indiana University – Bloomington. This duo competed at Level 4, the division for students in their fourth year of Japanese. “As seniors, Destiny and Mia made their rookie appearance at the Japanese Olympiad this year because the competition was cancelled throughout their freshman, sophomore, and junior years,” said MCHS Japanese teacher Mike Tsugawa. “They competed well and we are proud of them.”
MCHS also competed at Levels 2 and 3 in the Japanese Olympiad. At Level 3, MCHS was represented by Kamar Scully, Lorenzo Panozzo, and Malkiyel Woodard. Competing on Level 2 teams for MCAS were Aaverie Wingard, Natalie White, Zoe Brooks, Nathan Groszek, and Vivian Taylor. “Level 2 is the hardest level to break through since it has the biggest field,” Tsugawa said. “All of our students at Level 2 are sophomores getting their first experience in this competition, but all of our students did great and we hope they will be back.” The Japanese Olympiad of Indiana is an annual day-long academic tournament for high school students of Japanese throughout Indiana. Nearly 100 students participated this year from nine high schools, including Avon, Bloomington North, Chesterton, Fort Wayne Carroll, Highland, Wabash, Michigan City, Muncie Central, and Penn. The Olympiad places students in a playoff against all other competing schools at the same level, with only three scoring teams advancing to the finals. It is judged by Japanese professors (who are all native speakers) from Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University – West Lafayette, DePauw, and Earlham College.
The experience also allowed students, as well as spectators, to learn more about Japanese culture through a traditional dance from Okinawa. As the competitors met with other students of Japanese from around the state, they had the opportunity to gather information about Japanese studies at several Indiana colleges and universities.
“They were greeted by the East Asian Studies Center of IU Bloomington department head, who encouraged them to follow their interest in Japanese language and culture, and also met the head of the Japan-America Society, who spoke about different career paths students might follow that align with their interests,” Tsugawa said. “I’m proud of all of our competitors and finalists, and want to encourage all Wolves – regardless of their sport or skill – to take pride in what they do.”
More information about Michigan City High School courses, including world language opportunities, can be found at www.EducateMC.net/MCHS.