From the Herald-Democrat:

More than 560 area high school students will fill the halls of Van Alstyne High School Saturday for the Area Junior Classical League Convention.

Thirty schools from Fort Worth to Wichita Falls will attend the convention, in which they will compete for spots in the state competition March 31.

Competitions range from classical civilization to a toga costume contest. In order to advance to state, students must place in the top five in their competition and each winning Certamen, or quiz bowl, team will advance. Those who place at state will advance to the national competition.

Twelve students from Van Alstyne advanced to nationals in 2005, and 10 students placed in the top 10 of their competitions. Martin said that he hopes that the students are ready for the competition Saturday.

“They (students) have been really helpful at trying to put it together,” Martin said. “When you host the competition, you spend a lot of energy that you would have used getting them ready, on putting it together.”

Martin said the students, while doing their tests, will be available to assist with any questions from visiting schools. All they have to look for are flamingo pink t-shirts with two blue cows on them.

This year is the first that Van Alstyne has served as host to the competition at the school. In 2000, the district co-hosted with Denton Ryan High school.

The convention will begin at 8:25 a.m. with an opening assembly then students will go off to their respective testing rooms. Through out the day students can participate in the Certamen, play basketball or volleyball or eat in the Van Alstyne Cafeteria. At 3 p.m. the final Certamen competition will be held. Around 5 p.m. an awards assembly will be held to announce who and which teams advance to state.