NECTJ Speech Contest
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Townsend Harris High School recently won first place at the Japan Bowl contest. In addition, Senior Brandon Jagdhar won third place in the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese (NECTJ) Speech Contest.
This is the first time that THHS has placed first in the competition in its history. On the role of Japanese at THHS, Brandon said that “exploring Japanese culture is a huge part of being a student [at THHS].” He cited the fact that Townsend Harris, whom the school was named after, played a large role in Japanese history because he was the first US Consul to Japan. He felt that “all our hard work [had] definitely paid off.” The team will be going to Japan for the international Japan Bowl
Brandon also won third place at the NECTJ Speech contest.
The contest is hosted during Harumatsuri, which is an annual Spring Festival that has been held since 1994.
The contest entailed delivering a speech to judges against other non-native Japanese speakers.
As a result of his victory, Brandon will move on to the National Aurora Speech Contest after which he may get the opportunity to travel to Japan and compete in the International NECTJ Speech Contest. The competition is set to take place this May in California.
Japanese Teacher Ms.. Sato Berger is proud of Jagdhar for his proficiency in learning the Japanese language and Japanese culture: “There are some miracle students in any subject who study independently outside of the class and reach an unexpectedly high level. Brandon is one of those students. He loves Japanese and puts his heart and soul into it.”
Brandon felt that “ the inclusion of Japanese in the THHS language curriculum is something very important to our school’s history and is something I am extremely passionate about.”