Local students excel at state Chinese competition

Among those from Polk County attending Saturday's competition were, from left: PCHS Chinese teacher Qiaoying Lou, Connie Edwards, David Edwards, PCHS student Allison Edwards, PCMS student Jackson Edwards and PCMS Chinese teacher Zoe Zhang.

A pair of Polk County students earned recognition Saturday in the 8th Annual Chinese Speech Contest Final, held on the campus of North Carolina State University.

Polk County High School student Allison Edwards and Polk County Middle School student Jackson Edwards each received awards during the competition hosted by the Confucius Institute at N.C. State.

The contest brings elementary through college level students together to demonstrate their Chinese proficiency. Students are grouped by the length of time they have been studying Chinese (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) so that elementary and college level students can be competing in the same group.

Polk County High School also received recognition as an Excellent Organization for excellence in Chinese Language instruction, one of six schools statewide to earn that honor.

Allison Edwards received honorable mention in the Intermediate category while Jackson Edwards placed third in the Beginner category. A third local student, Sabrina Craig, qualified for the competition but was unable to attend as three of the 27 finalists in the contest came from Polk County.

During the competition, students perform three tasks. They must give a prepared speech, speak spontaneously on a topic they learn about at the competition and demonstrate a talent related to Chinese culture.

Fifteen other Polk County High students received Certificates of Participation: Sadie Allen, Roanna Green, Gabriel Lail, Ansley Lynch, Mariela Ramirez, Israel Roman, Chase Underwood, Willow Arkell, Clark Phipps, Galen Sachse, Jaylon Bontrager, Patrick Overholt, Anna McFadden, Christian Etherson and Ashlyn Green.