OHIO VALLEY REGION
State organizations continue their efforts in the service of the Classics. Jackson Mill, near Weston, West Virginia, was the sight of that state's annual JCL convention, March 30-31, 2000. 105 high school Latin students, representing six schools, met there. Latin teachers prepared the events and contests. A guest speaker from Pompeiiana was invited to portray a Roman centurion, and to give a participatory presentation on the Roman army that drew considerable interest from the students. The Maier Latin Sight-Reading Contest with substantial monetary awards formed an important convention event. This event was funded in part by a CPL grant of $261. At the JCL Convention, West Virginia Latin teachers had their annual meeting to discuss common problems along with the ways and means to improve Latin instruction in the state.
The Ohio Classical Conference held its annual meeting in November at Punderson State Park. Presentations ranged from discussions of weaving and the poetics of Catullus to a panel on teaching Cicero's First Catilinarian. The Hildesheim Vase Award, which recognizes each year an exemplary program in the schools, went to Kay Fluharty of Madeira High School in Cincinnati. A number of issues were discussed during the meeting, which echo similar discussions at the annual meeting of the American Classical League. The shortage of Latin teachers remains a lively concern, as does the challenge of improving the representation of college and university Classicists at OCC meetings.
Plans are underway for the 2001 meetings in both states. The West Virginia Classical Association will meet again at the JCL Convention in Morgantown on March 22-23. The Ohio Classical Conference will hold its meeting October 25-27 in Toledo, in conjunction with the Toledo Museum of Art's 100th anniversary. Because of the location of the meeting, the OCC hopes to attract attendance from Classicists in Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia, and Ohio. Web sites are either up or soon-to-be up in both states. Robert Larson, Webmaster for the OCC Web site has transformed the old site into one which not only includes all relevant information about the OCC, easily accessible, but also helpful links to other useful resources. As an outgrowth of the meeting held in Jackson's Mill last March, a state Classics Web site for West Virginia is under construction and will be uploaded at the beginning of the summer. Both states are able to offer a number of awards. Latin awards and contests sponsored by the Maier Foundation, totaling $3,900 (High School Latin Cup Awards, High School Latin Sight-Reading Contest, and the Maier Latin Scholarship at Marshall), continue to flourish. The Ohio Classical Conference annually awards: the OCC Scholarship for the Study of Latin in a college or university in the United States, given to a high school senior; the Charles T. Murphy Scholarship for Foreign Study for Ohio teachers of Classics; and the Scholarship for Prospective Latin Teachers, given to a student who is at least a sophomore in college.
Both states enjoyed recognition from the CPL. In addition to the grant to help fund the West Virginia meeting of the JCL mentioned above, Robin Snyder, Latin teacher at
Charleston Catholic High School in Charleston, received a grant from CPL. Jim Andrews and Tim Wutrich of Ohio University were recognized by CPL at the 2000 meeting of CAMWS for the best project to receive a CPL award: Panathenaea 2000 Ludi
Saeculares, May 17-19, which included a public reading of the full text of Vergil's Aeneid. Susan Bonvallet, who teaches Latin at The Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio was named by the Ohio Foreign Language Association as distinguished teacher in the category of less commonly taught languages.
With all this positive news, we must not forget that Latin specifically and languages in general remain vulnerable to the whims of educational administrators. In September, the word went out that foreign languages had not been included in the list of subjects required to be taught in Ohio schools. (This was apparently the result of administrative oversight, but there also appeared to be little interest at that level in correcting the oversight.) Thanks to the efforts of the Ohio Foreign Language Association as well as the vigorous letters from such organizations as the Ohio Classical Conference, foreign languages were added to the new Operating Standards for Ohio Schools. The OFLA remains anxious to see Ohio Revised Code 3313.60 include foreign languages, but at the moment a variety of factors have contributed to the bills not having been reintroduced into the current session of the legislature. The OFLA continues to work on the issue.
This material was posted on the web by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.