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FHS laureate chosen

Farragut High School senior Renee Slawsky recently was named a Russian Scholar Laureate by the American Council of Teachers of Russian.

Renee was chosen by FHS Russian teacher Anna Arapakos to represent FHS to the ACTR.

Arapakos said her decision to nominate Renee for the honor was based on two criteria.

“First, academic excellence in my class … She obviously has to have an A. Also she has to go above and beyond. In other words, if I have two students in my class with a 95 average, I am going to go with the one who has the most passion for Russian culture.

“It is based upon enthusiasm, passion and going the extra mile. It is not just because she has an A in grammar and has flawless pronunciation. It has to do with one’s soulful dedication to all things Russian that is exemplified above and beyond the class,” Arapakos added.

A Russian Scholar Laureate is chosen each year, as long as Arapakos has a student who meets her criteria.

Renee was chosen from students participating in Russian One through Four. Renee is a third-year Russian student.

“I started out taking French my freshman year and I realized that wasn’t really for me,” Renee said.

“My mom was kind of pressuring me to take Russian. She said ‘How many public high schools offer Russian as a class?’ and I said, ‘Not very many.’

“So I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. My sophomore year I took Russian One and absolutely loved everything about it,” she added.

According to Arapakos, Farragut High School is the only Knox County School and one of a handful of public schools in Tennessee that offers Russian. FHS has been teaching Russian since 1985.

Renee said she plans to continue her Russian studies.

“I do not what college I am going to but I know I want to either dual major in International Studies and Russian, or major in International Studies and minor in Russian,” she said.

Renee will join Arapakos and 13 other students and parents from FHS on a trip to Russia this summer.


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