Pride, Magidson Top Francophone Competition

Natalie Bunting, Staff Writer

Talented French students from multiple East Bay public and private high schools gathered to compete in the annual Concours de Français in Berkeley on Monday, March 12.  Campolindo sophomore Thomas Pride and senior Anna Magidson took first and second place, respectively, in the Francophone level 3 competition.

The students were judged on their ability to respond to questions thoroughly and fluently, according to French and Spanish teacher Ed Willy.

The first place prize was 300 dollars.

The competition is separated into categories including French 4, French 5 and bilinguals.

Willy said, “This year the competition was fierce in all levels and our students represented us quite well.  There were some new schools with excellent talent.  Las Lomas in particular fielded some very good speakers.”

Pride said, “We have a good history at the competition.  Unfortunately we didn’t win lower division but we’ll come back strong next year.”

Willy said, “Usually French 4 dominates.” However, he felt that the deciding factor this year was the superb presentation that Las Lomas brought to the competition. “They spoke clearly and loudly and were very easy to hear,” he explained.

Before living in California, Pride lived in France until he was 8 years old.  Each year, he returns to France.  During the school year, Pride takes French 4.

The competition has been around for the last nine years.  Campolindo has always been in the top three, explained Willy.

Other competetors were Annie Guo, Leo Kang, Phil Richards, Thibaut Hardin, Sarah Jin, Mikaela Moore, Mina Lucacher, and Romeo Stocchi.