LAKE MICHIGAN REGION
In the Great Lakes region the year 2001-2002 has been marked by a variety of activities at both the college and high school levels. The recent threat of closure of several high school programs, however, has darkened the end of this year’s record. We hope that our efforts to help them can be counted among our achievements in next year’s report. Our current officers are: regional VP Michele Valerie Ronnick (Wayne State), Illinois VP Vicki Wine (Black Hawk College), Indiana VP, Martha J. Payne (Ball State), and Michigan VP Mark F. Williams (Calvin College). While Ronnick was unable to attend the NCLG meeting at the 2002 APA meeting in Philadelphia due to conflicting schedules, she did attend the CAMWS Executive Committee meeting there. The three states of the Great Lakes region continue to enjoy the benefits of CPL funding. A number of CPL projects were funded this year for members in all three states. Our region remains the largest of all CAMWS regions.
I) Vicki Wine, CAMWS Vice President's Report: Illinois 2001-02 CAMWS Illinois Report
The Illinois Classical Conference has had another successful year of sponsoring activities. The 9th annual Latin Pedagogy Workshop was held for three days in July at National-Louis University; the coordinators reported that the turnout from Illinois was less than expected, though there was an impressive draw from outside the state. The 2002 (10th Anniversary) is planned for July 10-13, 2002.
The annual state conference met in October, jointly with ICTFL, at Itasca. The Latin presentations were well received and drew other foreign language teachers; likewise, the Latin teachers welcomed the opportunity to mingle with and listen to other foreign language teachers. The 2002 conference will be hosted by Monmouth College on October 18-20.
JCL and Certamen League continue to be popular and growing events. The IJCLN convention was held at Tinley Park on Feb. 21-23, 2001. The SCL helped out at the March IJCL North Convention with 17 students from 5 colleges. The SCL also started a new Teacher Award and selected LeaAnn Osburn as the Teacher of the Year. ICL, in its 10 th year of existence, had 30 schools participating; the founders are commended for their hard work and efforts.
Awards: The Matres Award was presented to the same student who won the 2001 Illinois Classical Conference Award for Excellence in Latin and Greek. The ICC Teacher of the Year and the Calder Award also continue.
A Latin teacher, Dr. Sherrilyn Martin, received the Lt. Governor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching in Region 2.
The Chicago Public Schools Latin Olympics was held in March and the students and parents were invited to a reception and awards ceremony in May.
The ICC newsletter, the AUGUR, reports on meetings, activities, job openings and other opportunities and news. ICC now has its own website (
www.illinoisclassics.org);it has a link to a list of job openings and will also maintain the Speakers’ List and Teachers’ Materials Exchange. Both Augustana and Monmouth College advertised Classics scholarship opportunities in the ICC newsletter.
The Illinois Latin Tournament was held on the campus of the University of Illinois in April; several students received awards for 4 years of participation. Monmouth College will host the 2002 state finals in April (with the Legion XIIII appearing the day before).
ICC had 142 members in October, with 7 new members (first time members joining at no cost).
Other events of note this year in Illinois include the following:
A CPL grant was awarded to Dr. Sherrilyn Martin for defraying costs of research for her CAMWS presentation. The students of several Illinois teachers won prizes for translation.
The Chicago Classical Club continues its offering of fellowship at lunch and speakers three times a year. Loyola University also continues to offer an assortment of speakers. Augustana College awarded prizes to the winners of its Web Contest again this year and announced its 2002 contest.
Monmouth College continues a strong presence with Classical offerings including the annual Fox Lecture (in November) given this year by CAMWS’ own Greg Daugherty of Randolph Macon College. The 17th Annual Bernice Fox Classics Writing Contest received 116 entries from 26 schools in 15 states.
Legion XIIII is returning to Illinois in April during its 2001-02 American tour to several schools in the state, including Monmouth.
A new M.A.T. in Secondary Education/Classics is available at National-Louis University.
An announcement has recently been received that Barrington High School is considering making up for lost revenue because of the failure of a referendum last fall by cutting out the Latin program (7-12).
II) Martha J. Payne, CAMWS Vice-President's Report: Indiana
Judy Grebe of Mt. Vernon HS reports that CAMWS grants helped the HS celebrate Latin week and a total of 600 students from 3 different school districts attended.
Despite Judy Grebe's enthusiasm her program is struggling, possibly because of a hostile administration.
At the University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN, Michael Dean, Asst. Prof of History reports happy news. The university began to offer Latin for the 2001-2002 academic year for the first time in its 30+ year history. Latin I was offered in the Fall; there is a 4-semester sequence and there is hope of offering 3rd year Latin. Courses on the Roman Republic and Empire are offered and have been filled to capacity. Dr. Dean hopes to develop a Classics minor.
Lucie Robie, a high school teacher, reports that she is teaching on a block 8 schedule and finds it hard to meet Indiana standards and to prepare the students to read authentic texts by 3rd year. In addition, there seems to be no textbook that adequately meets the needs of those teaching on a block 8 schedule. Block 8, therefore, is affecting the preparation of students. New Latin teachers will be needed by June, 2002 in Marian Catholic HS, Mishawaka, IN.
At the Indiana Classical Conference meetings of Fall, 2001 a problem was noted about the testing done to license teachers: there is no testing for Latin. As a result, faculty of various universities offering Latin will have to decide on proficiency.
In the state of Indiana in general it seems that school boards want to have Latin in the schools but cannot find teachers.
III) Mark F. Williams, CAMWS Vice President’s Report: Michigan
The first year of the new millennium showed signs of progress in Latin programs in Michigan, particularly at several colleges and universities, but also some worrying signs for the future as two high school programs are threatened with closure.
The two endangered high school programs are at Forest Hills Northern and Central High Schools (which previously shared a Latin teacher) and at West Ottawa High School. (Both programs are in public schools in west Michigan, near Grand Rapids.) The case of the West Ottawa program is touched with tragedy: a veteran Latin teacher accepted an early retirement bonus, after consulting with her principal to try to ensure the continuation of her program (which looked fairly strong by any reasonable standard). After receiving assurances that the principal would make every effort to continue the program, she retired. Soon thereafter, the principal died unexpectedly. The new principal apparently has decided not to search for a replacement Latin teacher. In the Forest Hills school district, the Latin program will continue for one more year, after which it will be phased out. (The year’s grace is to accommodate AP students who will be completing the program in the next year.) Letter-writing and phoning campaigns will be starting soon to try to save these programs, or at least to prepare the ground for the reintroduction of Latin instruction at the earliest possible date.
Two steps back, but one step forward: A new Latin program has been established at a fairly new school, Zion Christian High School in Hudsonville. The program is being implemented and taught by Peter Tjapkes, who holds a Ph.D. in medieval history from the University of Michigan. This continues a pattern we have seen in Michigan, at least, of Latin coming under pressure in public school systems but picking up parental support in private, religiously-oriented school systems.
There are other causes for optimism in Michigan, despite the bad news from West Ottawa and Forest Hills. Classics enrollments have continued strong at Grand Valley State University, and the administration there has supported the program by authorizing the hiring of two new classicists for this school year (bringing the total classics faculty at GVSU to five). Other college-level programs are continuing strong also: Calvin College continues to attract a total of about 40 majors, and the numbers are also strong at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Hillsdale College.
The Michigan Classical Conference, the prime meeting ground for collegiate and secondary teachers of the classics, held two successful meetings, in April and October, including a joint meeting at Toledo with colleagues from the Ohio Classical Association in October. The MCC was duly impressed with the scope and variety of OCA’s meeting; they have given us something to shoot for in the future.
In the future we will continue to monitor the situation of Latin in the schools as closely as possible (and we look forward to the completion of Deborah Pennell Ross’s census of HS Latin programs, which will help immensely toward this end). We will also look to increase regional cooperation of HS and college-level teachers of the classics in the state. This should not be difficult in lower Michigan, where there are concentrations of schools, colleges and universities, but could prove more challenging in upper Michigan, where the population is thinner and the distances between programs are much greater.
Michele Valerie Ronnick, VP for the Great Lakes Region presented the key note address,"Classics Indiana Style" at the annual meeting of the Indiana Classical Conference on March 2 which was hosted by the Classics department at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso IN.
The Detroit Institute of Art and its affiliated subgroups, The Antiquaries and the Detroit Classical Association, continue to sponsor a series of AIA lectures which will continue through April.
Speakers of national and international status presented a number of talks throughout the state at various campuses including the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Wayne State, Michigan State and Calvin College.
Michaela Sampson from Martin Luther King HS, the winner of the first Kraft Award given for excellence in teaching in April of 2001 in Salt Lake City, had an article about her by Rebecca Powers which was published October, 2001 in Our Detroit Magazine.
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 email@example.com.
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