Holy Trinity places second at Florida State Spanish Conference


Holy Trinity Spanish teacher Carmen Mirda, left, poses with students Nidhi Chary and Hari Dandapani. Holy Trinity finished second at the Florida State Spanish Conference.



After finishing third at last year’s Florida State Spanish Conference, a group of 16 Holy Trinity students wanted to accomplish two things at this year’s event:

They wanted to improve their finish, and they wanted to place higher than rival Trinity Prep.

That’s just what they did.

Holy Trinity finished second, just two points behind Jacksonville Bolles in a competition that featured a variety of different categories, including speaking, poem writing, a play and even a talent competition.

“I think we surpassed our expectations, but we didn’t live up to our fantasies in some regard,” Holy Trinity junior Hari Dandapani said. “We wanted that first place, but I was definitely proud of how we performed.”

In addition to her strong musical performance, senior Nidhi Chary wrote an essay on the importance of Fine Arts in Education and won a $100 scholarship prize.

She also helped Dandapani write the play the students performed, which was based on the life and early struggles of Spanish singing legend Celia Cruz.

“We all know about her when she was famous,” Chary said. “But I think it was very interesting that we decided to do a prequel to that. It was an aspect that nobody had seen before.”

Other Holy Trinity students who took part in the competition were: Kai Bartolone; Francesca Catena; Rea Cho; Ellen Choi; Soy Choi; Anjani Epasinghe; Seneka Epasinghe; Andrea Jara; Ashvi Luthra; Neal Luthra; Max Pagan; Heather Motro; Jenna Panarese and Karen Roque.

Dandapani was quick to give credit to Holy Trinity teacher Carmen Mirda, who teaches Spanish 3, 4 and AP classes at the school.

“I think Mrs. Mirda can attest that we’ve all seen a lot of growth in our Spanish speaking ability,” he said. “Five years ago, I knew two or three words in Spanish. Now, here we are, speaking fluently and able to convey our thoughts and ideas in Spanish. I think that’s all due to her guidance.”

Mirda, meanwhile, couldn’t have been prouder of her students.

“I can say they are fluent,” she said. “I think they’re the best students I’ve ever had in my life.”