CAMWS OHIO VALLEY REGION
The past year has been a quiescent one in the Ohio Valley Region. No overwhelming problems or overriding concerns have surfaced; membership has remained strong and the state vice-presidents have functioned efficiently. West Virginia VP Charles Lloyd and Ohio VP John Sarkissian report positive developments. CPL projects for 1999, one in each state, have been initiated; one has been shepherded through the application process and subsequently approved, the other is in process. Regional membership issues were addressed, correspondence was completed, and classical activities were attended where the cause of CAMWS was promoted. Ohio continued to fill a leadership role in the American Classical League and the Vergilian Society as well as CAMWS; the Ohio Classical Conference and its respected newsletter Humanitas are thriving, Ohios involvement in the VRoma project continues and, of course, Ohio hosts the 1999 CAMWS convention in Cleveland.
There have been many positive developments in West Virginia. Vice President Lloyd notes four such matters in his report. 1) Last April, over 100 students representing six schools, an increase of one, met at Bethany College near Wheeling for the annual JCL Convention with a guest speaker from Pompeiana on the Roman Army; the topic was of considerable interest to the assembled students. The annual Maier Latin Sight Reading Competition with substantial monetary prizes formed an important convention event as well. 2) In mid-October, the West Virginia Classical Association held its annual fall meeting at Parkersburg. Plans for the 1999 JCL convention were made, including a Roman banquet and expansion to a two day meeting to convene 18-19 March at Bethany College. CPL support in 1998 of $300 was much appreciated; a similar amount has been awarded for 1999. 3) Regional high school teachers and their students were invited to Marshall Universitys AIA lecture on April 3rd, given by professor Mario Del Chiaro on his excavations of a Roman villa. 4) Finally, strong financial support continues from the Maier Foundation ($3900) for various Cup Awards and the Sight Translation Contest at the JCL convention, as well as the Maier Latin Scholarship at Marshall University. In a word, there has been greater vitality in 1998/99, a welcome development.
Classics in Ohio flourish at various educational levels. The state was well represented at the 1998 CAMWS meetings in Charlottesville. Eighteen papers were given by speakers representing Ohios colleges and universities. In addition, the secondary schools were represented by two speakers on pedagogical panels and a session chair. Ohios Consulares, Charles Babcock and Mark Morford, formerly with OSU, lent their usual distinguished presence. Two Ohioans received grants: a Stewart travel grant and a Committee for the Promotion of Latin (CPL) grant. The annual CAMWS Translation Contest led to one Cash Award and Book Prize, a Book Prize and ranking as alternate for a Cash Award, and two Letters of Commendation. Hearty congratulations to these outstanding Ohio students and their teachers! Finally, an Ohioan was elected to the office of First Vice-President of CAMWS for 1998-1999.
The Ohio Classical Conference (OCC) met 22-24 October at Ohio University in Athens. The theme of the conference, organized by President Bill Owens, was drama in ancient times and modern classrooms. Contemporaneous with the OCC was a conference on Sophocles Antigone, sponsored by OUs Ping Humanities Center, allowing for rich interaction between the two audiences. The Friday afternoon sessions were devoted to recent changes in the AP testing formats and in the AP Vergil syllabus.
In June, 1999, Miami University will again host a workshop on VRoma, a web-based project intended to improve and expand the teaching of classical languages and cultures through technology-assisted collaboration between and among undergraduate and secondary school Classics programs (cf. last years report for more information on this exciting project).
Last years report mentioned that the state of Ohio had altered its policy regarding foreign languages in the public high schools. Senate Bill 55 made the study of foreign language a "required elective" for all students, but the requirement was only one credit unit from among a foreign language, the arts, and business/technology. Meanwhile, the Ohio Dept. of Education had been developing a Model Competency-Based Program in Foreign Languages, adopted in 1996. Latin teachers from around the state had participated with colleagues in other foreign languages in workshops to develop curricula based upon this Model (cf. Carol Ihlandorfs presentation at the CPL Panel at the 1998 CAMWS meeting). Finally, Ohios new Teacher Education and Licensure Standards would require incoming teachers to pass a performance assessment, and training sessions were to be available for current teachers to quality as assessors. I ended by stressing that it was crucially important for Latin teachers to become or remain actively involved in them. VP Sarkissian reports that he and Mark Torlone, a teacher at Cincinnatis Mariemont High School, joined a group of university/high school language teachers, business leaders, parents and community representatives in meetings at which was drafted a set of common expectations for Ohios future high school graduates in foreign languages. The purposes were to establish high academic standards, to inform curriculum development, to prepare students to meet the elevated academic standards at institutions of higher learning and to provide teacher education programs with a set of agreed-upon competencies to support K-12 standards. Our classicists were pleased to find strong support for the inclusion of Latin among the foreign languages and a willingness to accommodate our concerns. A draft of the expectations is to be disseminated throughout the state and feedback will be solicited. The committee will reconvene in the autumn of 1999 to modify the draft in light of that feedback and to begin establishing benchmarks. Implementation is still a distance away and some practical problems will have to be overcome, but we ARE involved through these two members.
Current OCC President Martin Helzle and Kay Fluharty from Madiera High School in Cincinnati have devised a plan to encourage strong high school Latin students to continue their study in college. At the states JCL convention during March, a room was available where upperclassmen could meet with representatives from Classics departments at Ohios colleges and universities so that the representatives could encourage the students to continue to take Latin or other Classics courses wherever they matriculate.
The increased vitality in Western Virginia and indications of continued sound health in Ohio suggest only optimism and gratitude: optimism that the future of Classics in the Ohio Valley remains bright and gratitude that the state vice presidents function so effectively. Classicists in the Ohio Valley Region hope that CAMWS members will feel this vitality for themselves in Cleveland.