West Columbia, SC- Students from across South Carolina arrived at Presbyterian College recently to compete in the 11th Annual Palmetto Chinese Star competition. Participants at the prestigious event ranged in age from kindergarten to college, and they showcased a variety of language and cultural skills, with one student being crowned the Palmetto Star.
This year, the honor of Palmetto Star was bestowed upon 4th grade East Point Academy student Jadon Page. He demonstrated superior skill in both spoken Chinese language, and cultural performance. When reflecting on her son’s win, Colleen Page said she is “...thankful for the hard work and dedication of our [East Point] teachers. They are the reason our students succeed. Not just with winning awards, but with the values they instill...our kids are truly rooting for each other, and honoring each other in a way that is admirable. We have amazing kids. This is why we continue to choose East Point.”
In all, East Point Academy was represented by fifteen students who earned awards for demonstrating various skills including Mandarin language acquisition, dance, calligraphy, storytelling, flute, and artistic painting. East Point Academy easily earned more awards than any other organization. In addition to the Palmetto Star title, East Point Academy took home the following: 1st Place Language: Lucy Zug, and Jadon Page. 2nd Place Language: Sienna Buck. 3rd Place Cultural: Lucy Zug. 1st Place Cultural: Jadon Page, Ivory Paavola, and Jaya Young. 2nd Place Cultural: Caroline Moore. 3rd Place Cultural: Amelia Leonardi and Aria Le. Honorary Awards: Yixuan Li, Olivia Li, Megan Morrison, Kaira Floyd, Cade Waters, Shelah Whitney, and Sarah Fang.
The Palmetto Chinese Star Contest is sponsored by the Confucius Institutes at the University of South Carolina and Presbyterian College. The competition is open to any Chinese language student in colleges or K12 schools in South Carolina. When asked about the preparation required of students, Junlan Li, East Point Academy’s Assistant Principal for Language Immersion, summed their hard work and dedication by saying “One minute on the stage; ten years of practice off the stage.”