Menlo News May 06, 2024

Togas, Trebuchet, and Torches

Menlo hosts the Junior Classical League (JCL) California State Convention

On April 12-13, nearly 1,000 Junior Classical League (JCL) members from 37 schools statewide gathered on Menlo School’s campus for the 69th Annual California JCL State Convention. JCL is an organization for middle and high school students in classical courses like Latin and Greek and is one of the world’s largest academic youth organizations.

The JCL State Convention brings history to life through camaraderie and competition. Throughout the weekend, students participated in a variety of academic, athletic, artistic, and social activities, as well as contests, from an Escape Room, Trebuchet, and Mythology to a Roman Rap Battle, Project Runway (toga edition), and Chariot Racing. Students also attended workshops by professors from Stanford, Roman Legion reenactors, and Menlo science teacher and ancient history enthusiast, David Spence.

“The convention gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their academic knowledge, their creative side, and their athletic skills—it’s about being a well-rounded individual,” says Menlo School Latin teacher and host school sponsor, Jen Jordt. Ms. Jordt credits her own involvement in JCL with inspiring her to become a Latin teacher. About the Convention, she added, “When else do you get the chance to see close to 1,000 kids in togas fill the stands of a high school gym?”

Check out some video highlights from the JCL State Convention at Menlo!