Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

Every year, Leesville’s French students are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a day full of French food, language and interaction. This year was no different.

Wednesday, March 19, schools from all around Wake County gathered at Moore Square Museum Middle School to show off their skills in French. There are multiple categories students can participate in – from spelling bees to dancing, skits to cultural exhibits, students are offered a plethora of ways to demonstrate their love and ability for the French culture.

Each category has multiple levels, novice (which typically includes Middle Schoolers), beginner, intermediate, advanced, and for those who speak French at home or come from a French origin, Native Speaker. Three prizes are awarded for each category, and this year Leesville took home seven.

Leesville won two first-place prizes for poetry recitation, Kristen Lavery for Advanced and Alex Ballardin in intermediate.

Jacob Melvin, Yordani Awono and Avery Black received thundering applause for their instrumental/dance duo to the well-known song “Hallelujah,” composed by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Their outstanding performance won them third place in the category of non-vocal talent.

There were several more prizes awarded including third place in Original Dramatics, Intermediate Traditional Song, Cultural Exhibits and Advanced Spelling Bee.

But no matter win or lose, the festival is a great way for high school students to meet fellow Francophiles. Natalie Landsberg, junior, said, “I just wanted to enjoy myself…it’s a good way to see what the French programs are like in other schools. It opened new doors.”

Students can even enjoy classic French delicacies – this year delicious crepes were provided by Coffee & Crepes.

Mme. West, French teacher and fourth-time veteran of the French Festival, talked about how her goal has stayed fairly constant over the years, to “support them [the students], helping them become the best they can be in whatever category they are participating in. Ideally you want to place, but I really just wanted them to get out and try to take advantage of this opportunity.”

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