Kayla Crossen crosses the boarder into French culture


Photo Provided

EMHS is saying “au revoir” to french bulldog Kayla Crossen.

Bridget Nye, Managing Editor

Edmond Memorial High School (EMHS) has become well known for its outstanding student body. With so many amazing students in its halls, it is easy to become lost in the crowd, but that doesn’t stop these students from working hard to become the best version of themselves, such as senior Kayla Crossen. 

Crossen has been involved in many aspects of the school. She is a member of the Youth and Government Mock Trial team, Technology Student Association and Business Professionals of America. 

Even with the lengthy resume, the biggest part of Crossen’s life at Memorial is French class. When the opportunity to participate in it for school arose, she decided to give it a try. 

Originally, it was because my mom has a degree in French, and we had some old family friends that also spoke French. When they gave us the option to choose a language class in middle school, I chose French,” Crossen said. “I stuck with it because the teachers and people in that class made learning such an enjoyable experience.”

Recently, Crossen was awarded the Prix d’Excellence Award by the Alliance française d’Oklahoma City. She was nominated by EMHS French teacher Peggy Whittington who wanted to shine a light on Crossen’s love and appreciation for the language.

“The Alliance française d’Oklahoma City is an international organization which promotes the French language and culture. Every French teacher in the metro area chooses a student for this award. I serve on the board, and since I am her teacher, I was very proud to personally present her with the award,” Whittington said. 

With Crossen winning such a distinguished award has made her mother, Constance Crossen full of pride. She is happy to see Crossen broadening her horizons and putting herself out there for the whole world to see. 

“Seeing Kayla be honored with the French award encouraged me that others can see her determination and effort as much as I do,” Constance said. 

As a junior, Crossen won the Fellows award and was given the opportunity to visit France for a few weeks. She even brought back what she learned and created a speech about her newfound knowledge. 

“Last year, she was awarded the prestigious Fellows scholarship to go to France for two weeks, live with a French family and attend a French high school,” Whittington said. “[After her trip] she prepared an outstanding presentation on the comparison of transportation in the U.S. and France, a requisite of the program.”

Kayla Crossen has enjoyed many aspects of her French trips, including the exciting sightseeing. (Photo Provided. )

This past fall, EMHS had the opportunity to welcome French exchange students on their ten day trip visiting Oklahoma. The students went to class with their host families and were able to learn everything there is to know about Edmond. Crossen’s family was one of the Memorial households that opened their doors wide open for these new faces. In the spring, Crossen also was able to visit her exchange student in France with EMHS for her own exchange trip. She toured castles, explored monuments and spent a day in Paris. This trip gave her memories to last for a lifetime. 

“It was an incredible experience. I loved being able to show my host student, Stécie Guervil, around Oklahoma. We went to the Parkhurst pumpkin patch, and she fed a goat. I also enjoyed being able to communicate with her in French and English,” Crossen said. “It was amazing being able to go overseas and experience everything she told me about her high school and French culture.”

As Crossen is finishing up her time at Memorial, her accomplishments will assure she won’t be forgotten. She has made strong connections with the students and faculty at EMHS that will keep her in everyone’s hearts long after she leaves these halls. 

“As Kayla prepares for the French AP exam, I am very sad to see her go. I met her as an 8th grader in French I, so it has been a wonderful journey to share with her,” Whittington said.  “Her love of learning French, her willingness to try new things, her generosity with her time and her hard work have all endeared her to her classmates and teachers alike.”

After graduation, Crossen has a few plans in mind. No matter where she goes, she will have EMHS cheering her on.

“I’m going to take a gap year to finish the 2D animation program that I’m currently in at Francis Tuttle. I also hope to volunteer with Youth and Government and hopefully the United Nations during that gap year,” Crossen said. “After that, I’ll be attending the University of Colorado Boulder.  I definitely will minor in French in college and would like to study abroad at Sciences Po in Paris.”

Crossen has shown what can happen when one puts in hard work into everything they are a part of. EMHS will miss her enriching these programs, but the student body can’t wait to see what she does next.

Contact Bridget Nye at [email protected]