by Matt Gates
WHS’ Euro Challenge team will be working with AP French students in order to prepare for its annual competition.
Said Euro Challenge Adviser Mr. Thomas Hornish, “The purpose of the Euro Challenge Competition is to have American students become familiar with the European Union and the Euro Zone.”
According to sophomore Team Member Andrew Zale, “The European Challenge is a great experience because it puts high schoolers through the task that lawmaking bodies go through; we must research the world’s economy in comparison to the Euro Area and our specific country. We then must find the problem, both general and specific and then create an in-depth solution in order to amend the problem while being able to defend it.”
Said Zale, “Each specific problem varies year to year. For example, in France this year, the income tax was raised to 75 percent for all French citizens making over 1 million euros....”
According to sophomore Euro Challenge Captain William Crenshaw: “[AP French students will] translate French newspapers for us—this allows us to gain perspective of what it's really like on the street for the typical person living there. That ‘feeling’ is something that is much harder to capture when written by a newspaper from a foreign country. Understanding the French perspective allows us to deepen our knowledge of issues facing the country and how it [affects] the average citizen.”
Said Hornish, Westfield’s Euro Challenge team has been to regionals six times and nationals three times.
According to AP French Teacher Ms. Marie-Laure Hoffman, “ I also think that it would be a great project for the French AP class as the economy is one of the themes we discuss.”
Said Zale, “Most Americans focus on the American economy, such as the fiscal cliff, but there are over 200 other countries whose economies affect ours. I also enjoy the process of problem solving, which is what the European Challenge is all about."
According to Crenshaw, “We’re truly thankful for the [French] students’ offer to give us valuable insight. This’ll give us an edge over other [towns] who aren’t as lucky to have this resource.”