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Student Perspective: Bolles Congreso Team Number One in State

By Cole Breuer ’24

For Spanish students at Bolles, Congreso is an incredible opportunity for students to apply their growing knowledge of the language outside the classroom and experience the great variety of cultures native to Spanish-speaking countries.

Congreso invites students from all the schools in the state to compete in three separate categories:

  • Impromptu: Students choose from three random topics and speak for a minute about the one chosen.
  • Theatrical: Schools perform a play.
  • Poema: Students who don’t participate in the play perform a poem of their choosing.

Each of these categories is scored out of 40, and at the end of the competition, these points are added to determine a winner. Additionally, students can choose to compete for individual awards in Dance, Music and Traditional Attire.

After winning last year and only losing one team member, the Bolles Congreso team was confident in our ability to win again. To be a part of the team, you first had to try out in the fall and then attend play and poem practices once per week until the competition.

In addition to the 16 members, four other students were selected as alternates in case anyone could not go. The bus ride to the competition consisted of constant practice for Impromptu. This definitely helped us not only to better answer our questions but also gave us more confidence. I flowed through my Impromptu without stuttering – a vast improvement from last year.

To wrap up the competition, a banquet was held where we were seated with students from other schools to create new connections. The event also showcased the best of the Music, Dance and Traditional Attire categories – a celebration of all things Spanish.

For me, Congreso has been a way to expand my cultural understanding while applying the vast knowledge that taking Spanish classes at Bolles has afforded me. In the classroom, we frequently learn about Spanish culture, heritage and traditions, but being able to interact with people from the very communities we learned about and see traditional dances, attire and music in person is an unrivaled experience.

The sense of togetherness I have felt with the Congreso team has been incredible, as everyone shows up ready to succeed – even in the months of practice leading up to the competition. Overall, Congreso has been an amazing experience in my last two years of upper school, and I am certain that our incredible Spanish teachers can ensure we continue to thrive in this competition in the years to come.

Congratulations to the Bolles Congreso team for earning the distinction of number one in the state! Special thanks to Bolles World Languages Department Chair Adriana Stam for sponsoring the team and Bolles faculty members Gloria Wood and Savannah Wood ’09, who chaperoned the team for the competition. Team coaches included Bolles language teachers: Stam, Jessica Boylan, Arceli Crotty, Carrie Ezzell, Abby Sander ’09 and Monica Wilinski-Hodel.

See below for the complete Congreso results:

Overall Team Award: 
1st Place (4A, 5A, 6A, 7A Category)

Special Award:
Division 1 Champions

Individual Awards:

*Perfect Score
^Sobresaliente (Highest Award)
+ Superior (Second Highest Award)

Poetry Recitation:
Ada Ertekin-Taner ^*
Esha Kasavaraju ^*
Eli Stevenson ^*
Sameera Ghate ^*
Unsh Majithia ^*
Valeria Hernández +

Theatrical Performance:
Amanda Tun^*
Christina Dovellos^*
Cole Breuer^*
Eesh Majithia^*
Emily Loftin ^*
Jaden Taher ^*
Raaya Katugaha ^*
Rohan Deshmukh ^*
Sofía Brieva *^
Soumya Kondu*^

Impromptu Speaking:
Ada Ertekin-Taner ^
Amanda Tun^*
Christina Dovellos^*
Cole Breuer^*
Eesh Majithia^*
Eli Stevenson ^
Emily Loftin ^*
Esha Kasavaraju ^
Jaden Taher ^*
Raaya Katugaha ^
Rohan Deshmukh ^
Sameera Ghate ^*
Sofía Brieva ^*
Soumya Kondu^*
Unsh Majithia ^*
Valeria Hernández +

Regional Dress:
2nd Place – Raaya Katugaha

Musical Performance:

3rd Place – Sofia Brieva, Eesh Majithia, Raaya Katugaha