Morgan Rose Cheatham, a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, attended the National Junior Classical League Convention this year on the campus of the University of California Davis, in Davis, Calif., July 27-Aug. 1. There were about 1,200 in attendance at the convention representing students from across the U.S. The state of Virginia had approximately 85 participants in the convention.
The National Junior Classical League is an organization of junior and senior high school students sponsored by the American Classical League. It is composed of local and state chapters and is the largest Classical organization in the world. Its purpose is to encourage an interest in and an appreciation of the language, literature, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, and to impart an understanding of the debt of our own culture to that of Classical antiquity.
Morgan scored in the top five for competitions entered and received awards in Graphic Arts, Modern Myth, Essay and Creative Arts and placed in the top 20 for every academic test taken at the convention. She was awarded first place in the English Oratory out of all Latin levels and grade levels in attendance, receiving the honorable mention of "Best in Show." The theme for this year's convention was "The Level of Our Success is Limited Only by Our Imagination." Her speech discussed this theme, and how one's imagination can help them achieve "the dream," no matter what the dream may be. Her speech included many classical examples such as the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, as well as the famous "Somnium Scipionis" or "The Dream of Scipio," written by Marcus Tullius Cicero. She also included examples about the early English colonists, Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama and their abilities to use their imagination to achieve "the dream."
Morgan is the daughter of Reginald and Annemarie Walsh-Cheatham, and granddaughter of Luther and Louise Bond-Cheatham of Alexandria.