The Tidewater Region continues to enjoy strength and interest in the Classics at all educational levels. The primary concern of this region is the shortage of teachers available for positions at the secondary level. Summaries of the state reports support a picture of great activity and energy in North Carolina and Virginia.
In North Carolina there were several ongoing activities which helped to promote Latin. The NCCA Spring 1999 meeting in Asheville included a workshop on the new AP Exams by the AP Latin Test Development Committee, and presentations by Michael Jones (UNC-Asheville) and Jeanne O'Neal (Davidson College), on teaching Horace. The Fall 1999 meeting, held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC), was attended by 35 NCCA members. Beth Lindsey and Alice Yoder gave a workshop on using a reading-based approach to learning Latin and its relation to the new state and national standards; Robin Farber, the state co-chair for NCJCL, gave a presentation on using broad themes in the Latin classroom to prepare for conventions while meeting school goals.
The NCJCL has a current membership of 2,906 students, representing 52 high schools and 10 middle schools; its 1999 state convention was held at UNC-Chapel Hill with more than 1,200 students in attendance; the 1999 Fall Forum was held again at UNC-Greensboro in November.
NCJCL sent a delegation of 22 students and 4 chaperones to the national convention hosted by Florida State University. The North Carolina delegation was awarded 4 of the top 10 spots for publicizing Latin and JCL within their communities. The NCJCL web site (www.ncjcl.org) was named the best in the nation.
Some Latin teachers in Guilford County continue to use the brochure they developed 2 years ago to help recruit new high school students to the study of Latin.
Three strong chapters of the AIA (in Asheville, Chapel Hill and Greensboro) continue to sponor public lectures on archaeology that help promote interest in the classics; thanks to the support of Sarah Wright, an area Latin teacher, the lectures in Greensboro are especially well-attended by high school Latin students and their parents.
New developments have also helped to promote Latin. UNC-Greensboro sponsored an all-day workshop on Latin pedagogy by Sally Davis; the workshop was attended by 40 teachers from around the state, despite the threat of a January ice storm!
UNC-Greensboro is for the first time offering a graduate course, taught by Susan Shelmerdine, on "Current Trends in Teaching Secondary Level Latin"; this course, offered both to students on-site and to distance education, is serving 14 Latin teachers across the state.
The M.Ed. in Latin at UNC-Greensboro has for the first time been granted one in-state and one out-of-state tuition waiver to help recruit new Latin teachers interested in completing NC licensure requirements and earning an advanced degree at the same time.
CPL funds were used by Susan Shelmerdine, for partial funding of the UNCG sponsored pedagogy workshop conducted by Sally Davis for in-service and pre-service teachers.
Recruiting new teachers to fill new and old vacancies is a significant concern. Discussions with teachers in the five largest school systems reveal there will be a significant turnover in teachers this coming year. In several instances (Wilmington, Raleigh, Fayetteville) high schools have been forced to discontinue their Latin programs when teachers have left or retired. The Greensboro and Fayetteville school systems currently have two teachers each who were recruited through an international teacher exchange program. Differences in culture and teaching style and 3-year maximum contracts raise concerns about the overall benefits of this solution. Unless we work to recruit new teachers, we will experience an acute teacher shortage in North Carolina.
Another concern is the difficulty in expanding Latin into the middle schools and working on the articulation between middle school and high school programs. This concern is related to the first one, since the current shortage of teachers makes it difficult to expand the reach of Latin in the schools.
We hope to improve communication and opportunities to share materials and experiences among all teachers in the state.
Several ideas for addressing these concerns have been suggested: 1.) area teachers, local, state and regional organizations, colleges and universities all need to work more creatively at recruiting students into Classical Studies and actively encouraging students to consider a career in teaching. 2.) Teachers, parents and others should be encouraged to push for middle school Latin at the level of the school system. Local school system administrators should also be encouraged to organize and support efforts by middle and high school teachers to work on articulation issues. 3.) The CAMWS state VP plans to establish a phone network and, where possible, e-mail network among Latin and Greek teachers in NC. He will recruit one or more key people in each school system to establish, use and maintain this network among teachers in their area.
In Virginia, the year from February 1999 to February 2000 has proven busy and productive for students and teachers of Latin at both secondary and university levels across the Commonwealth.
Ongoing activities which helped to promote Latin include increased membership in The Classical Association of Virginia. Currently it is 299, slightly higher than last year; the semi-annual meetings continue to attract healthy numbers of both secondary teachers and university professors; the enrollment in CAV essay contests and translation tournament remains at an excellent level.
Several local collaboratives in various regions of the state continue to offer middle and high school teachers opportunities to share ideas and materials and to develop regional events for their students; areas in which these collaboratives thrive are Tidewater, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and the central Shenandoah Valley Semi-annual Saturday Seminars at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland have enjoyed abundant attendance. The state-sponsored Governor's Latin Academy continues to enjoy its host facility at Hollins University and looks forward to its thirteenth year in the summer of 2000. Public and private schools continue to participate in the CAMWS College Awards Translation Contest. The Virginia Junior Classical League reports a total of 105 chapters, slightly lower than last year; participation at the annual convention of the VJCL last November numbered approximately 1200 middle and high school students. Hollins University, Hampden-Sydney College, and The University of Virginia continue to offer lectures, symposia, theatrical productions to Latin students and the public at large.
New developments in Virginia include statistics from the first statewide foreign language survey in about 10 years indicate that Latin students represent approximately 9% of the 189,516 students enrolled in foreign languages across the Commonwealth in the 1998-1999 school year; the results of the survey indicate in what counties and cities Latin has bountiful enrollment and where it might be promoted.
An exciting summer program for third, fourth, and fifth graders (and their teachers) is being developed in Augusta County; named the "Augusta County Institute for Classical Studies," this nine-day program will offer gifted students opportunities to learn more about Latin and the classical world during the summer of 2000.
CPL funds were used by the following: Doug Bunch, for partial funding of the Augusta County Institute for Classical Studies. Carter Drake, for printing of promotional brochure. Trudy Becker, for continued partial funding of Virginia Tech/Kipps Elementary Classics Day, which supports the third grade curriculum on the ancient world.
Significant concerns include keeping track of areas of the state that need help in promoting and developing Latin programs, supporting efforts in training and/or attracting excellent teachers of Latin and supporting efforts to communicate and exchange ideas among various organizations and informal groups within the state.
The state vice-president has promoted, by way of announcements, informational fliers, and display of CAMWS membership, scholarship opportunities, CPL grants availability, and the annual meeting at every available opportunity, including meetings of the Classical Association of Virginia, Mountain Valley Latin Teachers Association, Virginia Junior Classical League, and the Foreign Language Association of Virginia.
Publication of announcements (membership, CPL opportunities, CAMWS translation tests) have been put in all issues of the CAV Newsletter. A special mailing was sent (cover letter, listing of CAMWS meeting sessions of interest to secondary teachers, and membership brochure) to Latin teachers who sponsor Virginia Junior Classical League chapters but are not currently members of CAMWS. A compilation was made of most of the results of the survey of foreign language enrollments which the Department of Education collected. Also, three applications were forwarded to the regional vice-president for CPL funding.