True Romance – English senior Anjeza Beharaj receives BU scholarship for excellence in Latin

A Lynn English High School student has received a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Boston University as a result of her superlative performance in the Boston University Latin Scholarship Competition.

Anjeza Beharaj, a senior and three-year student in Latin classes at English, has been awarded the Palma Aurea Scholarship that “recognizes her outstanding academic and extra-curricular credentials and expresses confidence that she will make significant contributions to the BU community.”

Beharaj earned the scholarship – an award worth more than $200,000 – after taking a 70-question Latin exam at BU that was given to seniors nationwide. Beharaj claimed the prestigious award by recording one of the highest scores on the exam.

Beharaj, who is ranked second academically in the Class of 2010, was quick to credit Mr. Michael Haddad, her outstanding Latin teacher at English, and Ms. Joanne Glidden, head of the school’s highly acclaimed Foreign Languages Department, for her success in the study of Latin.

“Mr. Haddad is so animated and lively about it [Latin] that you can’t help but be excited about it as well – it’s almost infectious,” said Beharaj. “I just got this drive and passion for it and kept going. Mr. Haddad and Ms. Glidden are both great teachers. All the teachers foster learning at Lynn English and it’s a great learning environment.”

Glidden said the administrative support of Principal Andrew Fila has helped the language department maximize students’ potential.

“Our success is due to the administrative support of academics – helping to bring the Latin program along and making sure that we have two excellent Latin teachers (Michael Haddad and Karen Mower) for our students,” said Glidden. “We’ve had a lot of support from the principal and the administration.”

Beharaj has taken three years of Latin and four years of Spanish in high school. She traveled an unprecedented course to linguistic excellence, skipping over Latin Level 2 classes to proceed directly to the Advanced Placement Latin curriculum.

“Anjeza is actually a special case – she did something unprecedented at the school,” said Haddad. “When I was teaching her Latin in her freshman year, I realized that she was going ahead in the book further than we were going in the curriculum. She was acing every test and every quarter of Latin.”

Haddad, a graduate of Boston University who majored in Latin, then met with Anjeza’s guidance counselor and suggested that she skip Latin 2 and move on to Latin 3, the equivalent to receiving a double promotion in the subject area.

“Anjeza became the first student ever to take Advanced Placement Latin in her junior year,” said Haddad. “This is my seventh year at Lynn English and I’ve never had a student as gifted with a language, as self-motivated as Anjeza.”

Beharaj said that knowing Latin has helped her succeed in other subjects. “When we have vocabulary tests in my English class, I can see the Latin roots of words and it helps,” said Beharaj.

Beharaj is a member of the National Honor Society who has taken Advanced Placement classes in Statistics, U.S. History, English Literature, and Latin. She is also the editor-in-chief of the school yearbook, president of the Latin Club, and captain of the varsity tennis team.

Anjeza will major in Biochemistry and minor in Latin at BU. Her career goal is to become a radiologist.

Anjeza is the daughter of Asqeri and Majlinda Beharaj. She has a sister, Iris, a sophomore at English.

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