Arcadia High School French Program: Over 110 students rank top 25% nationally – Oui, C’est Vrai!

- Courtesy photo / Arcadia High School

At Arcadia High School, over 70 percent of those testing their French prowess ranked nationally and received a medal. – Courtesy photo / Arcadia High School

By Terry Miller

Arcadia High School is well-known known for academic achievements,  extremely high GPA and SAT scores as well as an impressive list of graduates accepted  each year to Ivy League schools.  Naturally,  the district has a copious amounts of Spanish  and other language classes but very few even know of the French program. What you may not know is that there is a formidable French language program at AHS  yearning for some of those accolades ascribed to other factions of the high school.

Enter AHS French teacher Christina Vaughan. Madame Vaughan’s zest for the language and her students is electrique positive.

Each year, all students studying French at Arcadia High School with Madame Vaughan and Madame Krikorian have the opportunity to take The National French Contest/Le Grand Concours, which is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). Students of French in grades 1-12, in all 50 states and abroad, take a written & listening comprehension test and compete against students with similar educational background for prizes.

National Prizes include Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Each year, 25% of those participating receive a medal, but at Arcadia High School, over 70 percent of those taking the test rank nationally and receive a medal.

Platinum award:  Highest score in level/division (National rank 1)
Gold award: students in 95th percentile and above
Silver award: students in 85th to 94th percentile
Bronze award: students in 75th to 84th  percentile
Mention d’honneur award: Students in 50th to 74th percentiles

Of all of the languages taught at Arcadia High School, French is the only one to have a national competition at every level: French 1, French 2, French 3, and French 4 AP. French students can share this accomplishment when applying to universities. French and the other languages have the SAT 2 which is taken at the beginning of one’s senior year and the AP test which is taken at the end of one’s senior year and the results are not available for universities until after students have already been accepted or rejected.

The French program at Arcadia High School is smaller than the Spanish and Chinese programs, and about the same size as the Japanese program.  Madame Vaughan and Madame Krikorian work together as a team to encourage the academic and personal growth of all of their students through engaging curriculum and partner activities which allow students to feel like a family while in class, and throughout their 4 years of French. If students wish to reach the AP level, it is highly recommended that they begin in 9th grade (and take that extra science class during the summer).

While not officially part of the school curriculum, the French program also offers opportunities to host French high school students through an exchange program and also travel to France for an immersion experience.

All of these aspects contribute to the success that Arcadia students have shown on this national test.


Français 4: Five AP French Students (out of 6 who took the test) ranked nationally this year. In the entire US, 9,000 students took the test and only 2100 ranked nationally.

Keerthana Yogananthan Gold
Irene Rauch Gold
Anastasia Barkow Silver
Maddy Field Silver
Jacy Duan Bronze

Français 3: This year, a whopping 24 students out of 35 students (69%) who took the test ranked nationally. Only 8 students in the entire United States scored higher than Jessica Sawaya! In the entire country, 16,000 took the test and only 4000 scored nationally (25%)

Jessica Sawaya (-1) (95th) Gold
Kelly Daniels (-3) (95th) Gold
Elizabeth Wang (-4) (95th) Gold
Kyle Wang (-5) (95th) Gold
Chi Tsai (-6) (95th) Gold
Victoria Sevilla (-6) (95th) Gold
Emma Huang (-6) (95th) Gold
Neel Narvekar (-7) (95th) Gold
Erin Fong (90th) Silver
Tim VanKirk (90th) Silver
Martin Lu (85th) Silver
Jefferson Yin (85th) Silver
Eric Zheng (85th) Silver
Victoria Tovmasyan (85th) Silver
Sophie Lau (85th) Silver
Shubhita Verma (85th)Silver
Monica Wang (80th) Bronze
Kelly Chen (80th) Bronze
Jack Snyder (80th) Bronze
Kirsten DeLeon (75th) Bronze
Mercedes Fernandez (75th) Bronze
Hamlin Liu (75th) Bronze
Cody Liu (75th) Bronze
Paula Sawaya (75th) Bronze

Français 2: Perhaps the most incredible statistics of all! Six of our French 2 students scored perfectly on this exam! Those students are: Mikaela Avakian, Jessie Chen, Samantha Lei, Maxwell Tong, Grace Wong, and Warren Yuan! Bravo!!! Five more students only missed one question! They are: Jennifer Adisoetjahya, Matthew Lu, Julia Ma, Anusha Silla, and Nikki Yang. Of the 19,200 who took the French 2 test, 4400 ranked nationally (23%). For Arcadia High, 50 out of 72 French 2 students ranked nationally this year (70%).

Mikaela Avakian Platinum
Jessie Chen Platinum
Samantha Lei Platinum
Maxwell Tong Platinum
Grace Wong Platinum
Warren Yuan Platinum
Jennifer Adisoetjahya Gold
Matthew Lu Gold
Julia Ma Gold
Anusha Silla Gold
Nikki Yang Gold
Phoebe Chang Gold
Stella Chen Gold
Sharmin Islam Gold
Jovan Jeffs Gold
Denise Rios Gold
Cody Wu Gold
Anita Weng Silver
Becklynn Zeng Silver
Julius Kwan Silver
Cathy Kim Silver
Emily Reale Silver
Marcos Sim Silver
Shania Vijay Silver
Jasmine Chen Silver
Ilona Hohertz Silver
Nicolas Karadimas Silver
Geoffrey Basinger Silver
Jeannie Wen Silver
Matthew Wang Silver
Helen Gu Bronze
Chloe Barberi Bronze
Ashley Huang Bronze
Cami Keene Bronze
Valentine Li Bronze
Mark Mata Bronze
Andrea Pacheco-Amaro Bronze
Frank Shen Bronze
Tiffany Wang Bronze
Ysabel Dinsay Bronze
Zoltan Hargitay Bronze
Joyce Htet Bronze
Aleen Ohannessian Bronze
Prasiddhi Upadhyaya Bronze
Victoria Wang Bronze
Audrey Abbott Bronze
Andre Ching Bronze
Serena Huang Bronze
Jasmine Truong Bronze
Bonnie Wong Bronze

Français 1: This year, 20,000 French 1 students took this national test and only 4,000 ranked nationally (25%). 34 of our 75 students ranked nationally (45%), with 4 gold medals for Martina Chen, Daniela Lopez, Elizabeth Snyder and Ramon Zuniga. Felicitations to all our students for this great achievement!

Martina Chen Gold
Daniela Lopez Gold
Elizabeth Snyder Gold
Ramon Zuniga Gold
Katie Blastek Silver
Axel Cruz Silver
Alex Feng Silver
Alessandra Cicero Silver
Christopher Du Silver
Jin Cai Silver
Vivian Kwang Silver
Kaitlin Lee Silver
Felicia Lo Silver
Calvin Nguyen Silver
Emily Phan Silver
Ayda Rahmanian Silver
Rodrigo Santos Sevilla Silver
Tiffany Stanford Silver
Tammy Sung Silver
Jeremy Sutton Silver
Crystal Truong Silver
Chris Wang Silver
Shria Akalamkam Silver
Julieta Balseca Bronze
Coco Chen Bronze
Tammy Cheung Bronze
Matthew Frame Bronze
Kassandra Galicia Bronze
Tessa Holzmann Bronze
Carolyne Kim Bronze
Varun Samudra Bronze
Rachel Schuelke-Lombardi Bronze
Rosanne Shin Bronze
Eran Young Bronze

June 21, 2017

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