Max Cestari: 2019’s French Honor Society President

Jessica Polito

On Tuesday, April 2nd, Max Cestari was one of the seniors leading the induction of many upperclassmen into the language honor societies at SWHS. After being inducted last year, Cestari took on the role of president of the French honor society this year. During the ceremony, he led the French inductees through an oath and watched on as they presented a poem and a dance.

Cestari’s connection to the French program is unique, as he is of French descent. His mother was born in France, and all of her family lives in France. She moved to the U.S. in 1994, and still speaks French fluently. While his dad is American, his family still pushed him to retain his French background and identity. “I’ve been speaking French since I was young. They would show me different books and tell me stories in French,” Cestari remarked. The encouragement to learn the language came from his mom, as his dad is not fluent. He explained that he “didn’t know how to write French before 7th grade. (The French program begins in 7th grade.) I only learned to read and speak at home, school helped me to refine my skills within the language. I learned vocab through structured classes.” With his home connection and interest in the language, “it makes sense to be a leader for something that represents my culture,” he notes of becoming the president.

In addition to his home connection, Cestari has been an active French student. Last year, he participated in the French exchange program. This year, Cestari is a member of the A.P. French class with Mr. Mabasa. Excited to further be a part of the program, Cestari’s role in the induction was to read the oath so that the inductees could repeat it. He was happy to report that “they said them all correctly and it was cool to pass the torch onto the next group.” After the oath, the inductees performed a French-Canadian Dance “which was actually really good” Cestari noted. Another group read a poem in French and then summarized it in English for the audience.

As Cestari reflected on his experience in the language program, he wants students to know that they should “give them a try.” Though many students take Spanish, he encourages others to “do what they want to do, but make an informed decision.”