Bellaire High Students Take First Steps On Road To Godless Communism, Possibly

We guess they didn't get the memo out at Bellaire High that the USSR is an enemy devoted to selling us the rope with which we'll hang oursel -- wait, what? The Berlin War fell? We won the Cold War?

It must not have made, because we don't remember reading about it. At any rate, we guess that means that the kids pictured above are not renegade Communists. Instead they must be, as the Houston school district claims, just about the best Russian-speaking high schoolers in the nation.

"In the 2009-2010 Russian Essay Competition, Bellaire earned more medals than any other school in the nation, with seven gold medals, 17 silvers, 25 bronzes, and 42 honorable mentions," HISD spokesman Norm Uhl says. And it does sound like a pretty good haul.

The American Council of Russian Teachers has been holding a nationwide essay competition for 28 years, with students at different levels of expertise competing against each other. Bellaire just learned of its impressive showing.

So who are all these geniuses, a word we would write in Russian except it requires a whole bunch of Cyrillic characters?

They are: Gold medal winners Christina Bey, Julia Chernis, Elizabeth Didyk, Joseph Hang, Nikita Makarov, Valery Pokidalyo, and Monica Raptis. Silver medalists Shenequa Alpough, James Chapman, Katherine Gold, Kathryn Jansa, Jacquelynn Liedtke, Erica Lynn, Lauren Lusby, Kseniya Nagornova, Emily Pierson, Stephanie Rohrbach, Aidana Omarbekova, Sarah Orsak, David Sandler, Samantha Solis, Gregory Tishkevich, Louis Weiss, and Tatiana Yatsenko.

Congratulations, comrades. Remember: Doverai, no proveryai. And spasibo. And that just about exhausts our Russian.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly