1) Report from
Illinois (Vicki Wine, State VP)
The annual conference of the Illinois Classical Conference (ICC) was hosted by Monmouth College in October, 2002.  Some new initiatives, some new members, and an attentive host combined for a pleasant and engaging weekend.

ICC continues to support Latin contest, JCL, Certamen League, and scholarship awards.  The organization’s website (, helps to disseminate news, disperse information, and dispense forms.

 This summer the Illinois State Board of Education hosted a language immersion program, coinciding with a virtual classroom seminar.  A group of ten attended the Latin program and had a busy and enlightening day and a half of Latin conversation led by Professor John Traupman.

Promotional activities have kept Latin alive and prominent.  Chicago Classical Club maintains a luncheon meeting with a speaker three times a year.  Monmouth College supports an archeology lecture series and numerous other speakers and events.  A reading of Homer will take place in early March at both Monmouth College and Knox College.  Augustana College and Loyola University sponsor activities as well.

Illinois members of CAMWS were honored with several awards at the CAMWS meeting in April.  Sherrilyn Martin of Keith Country Day School of Rockford was recognized for the outstanding project funded by the Committee for the Promotion of Latin in 2001-2002.  Her project was a survey of school counselors in a three-state region about Latin as a preparation for college.  Also, Christine Ayers of Monmouth was one of the first recipients of CAMWS’ new Service Award.  In addition, Tom Sienkewicz was the recipient of an Ovatio at the Presidential Banquet.  Furthermore, several students were recognized for their performance on the 2002 CAMWS School Awards Examination.

The Latin pedagogy workshop which has run for eight years at National-Louis University in Evanston had to be canceled in 2002 due to low enrollment.  Scheduling during another conference might have been a contributing factor, and those who had enrolled were very disappointed, but the workshop could not be supported financially without a minimum enrollment.  It will be offered again in the summer of 2003.

Several inquiries from CAMWS members have been made about job prospects in Illinois.  Monmouth H.S. is in the process of interviewing candidates for the next school year, to replace the current teacher who will retire.  As far as is known, Morningside Christian School in Rock Island would still like to have a teacher who will continue to increase the program as a new level is added each year. (Latin is currently offered grade 3/4 through grade 8.)  Kenwood High School in Chicago is looking for a new teacher. Teaching positions have survived with replacements.  The programs at Barrington High and Middle School were saved due in part to the strong response from the community of classicists.

The Latin certification program initiated by National-Louis University seems to have died, but people are talking with other schools to continue this goal.

NLTRW activities in Illinois included a recruitment event organized by ICC President Laurie Jolicoeur at Illinois JCL in February. Latin teachers who had parented other Latin teachers were asked to stand and be recognized along with the former students (now teachers). At least three such pairs were present at JCL. NLTRW bookmarks contributed by the Monmouth College Classics Dept. were distributed to all 300 JCL participants.

Monmouth College celebrated NLTRW in a variety of ways. In addition to distributing NLTRW bookmarks to JCL students and to students at Monmouth and Pekin High Schools, Tom Sienkewicz visited all the education classes at the college to talk about the advantages of adding Latin certification. All of the advanced Latin students, as well as several of the elementary Latin students were also encouraged, individually, to consider a career in Latin teaching. Tom Sienkewicz and a student spoke at Pekin High School about Latin teaching and another MC student discussed NLTRW at Monmouth High School. Tom Sienkewicz was also interviewed about NLTRW by a local public radio station.

2) Report from Indiana (Martha Payne, State VP)

Indiana high school teachers remain  very dedicated. Here are various events arranged by school:

South Vigo HS, Terre Haute 
Mary Steppe, teacher, reports that: JCL is very active, hosting 4th graders from a local school for several Latin days.  Some of the activities included Simon Dicit (“Simon Says”); modeling of Roman dress; practicing derivatives. During cadet teaching Latin students taught 4 elementary classes with teachers as mentors. HS students will take National Latin Exam, & National Medusa Exam.

North Central HS,

Teacher Steve Perkins reports that: Latin 1-4/5 is taught, students are in NJCL Latin Honor Society and they take the National Latin Exam and Medusa Mythology exam; 92 members in Indiana Junior Classical League.

ICC Resource Center VII
Bernie Barcio reports a successful Latin Day in October, 2002 at Jay County Fairgrounds in Portland, CA, 800 Latin students & teachers from Indiana. Special Event:  Live horse Ludi Circenses -Indiana Chariot and Cutter Racing Association.  Students got to see biga and quadriga chariots raced and three heats in which Red, White, Blue & Green teams raced in smaller ludi circenses  chariots.  Finale was a Conestoga-style race



demonstrating “what it must have been like to see German barbarian families fleeing the battle field in the wagons after watching their foot soldier relatives be defeated by the Romans,” as the race track announcer said.

Elwood HS
Diana Garner, teacher, reports 4 years of Latin and active participation in Indiana JCL.  Latin students take care of paper recycling at the HS and  sponsor a semi-formal dance; Later in the year 1st year students will make bees wax tablets; 2nd year students will make a copy of a Roman mosaic, and 3rd and 4th year students will make Roman design jewelry. As this report goes to press, this program is in danger of elimination due to an unenlightened superintendent and CAMWS CPL is organizing a letter-writing campaign to save the program.


Mt. Vernon HS, Mount Vernon, IN
At Judy Grebe’s school Latin 1 & 2 are offered, but 3 & 4 are combined.  Some fear about the enrollment for next year.  Incoming 8th graders were not allowed to have a convocation with Mr. Bernie Barcio this year. The reason given was that Jr. High staff voted to limit interruptions due to state academic proficiency requirements.  I-STEP (Indiana HS exit exam) affects number of periods students have for electives. Not as many students are attending competition this coming spring.

North Lawrence HS, Bedford, IN
Jo Stuckey, North Lawrence’s teacher, has 4 years of Latin and a Latin Club involved in social and community services:

Bloomington North HS, Bloomington, IN
Lucy Robie  participated in the ‘Indiana Latin Week’ - students made posters or dressed dolls.  Bernie Barcio presented “Fabius the Tribune”; advanced & beginning food classes prepared food for Roman banquet & did the serving.  This was an in-school field trip:  The Latin students wore Roman costumes & the Bloomington South HS students were guests, Lucy plans on sponsoring an activity at the Jr. High in 2003 to get students interested in Latin before they start signing up for classes for next Fall.

Indiana-University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Bob Sutton reports that a new Individualized Studies Major Program has five students hoping to complete majors in a variety of Classical Studies areas, including one with a Latin concentration and another in Classical Archaeology. Twelve courses are regularly offered:  Latin, art and archaeology, classical civilization, history, philosophy.  Also available are possibilities of studying overseas. Since the program in classical studies began in 1990, three students have continued in graduate work in classical archaeology and ancient history and are making contributions to the field.

Indiana University
William Hanson says the Classics program is going well with some students studying in Athens or Rome as part of their studies.

Purdue University
John Kirby is designing and teaching new courses at Purdue:  upper level Latin literature; “The Ancient World Onscreen” and is active in Purdue’s Study Abroad Program. Nicholas Rauh is continuing his work in Turkey with an archaeological survey in Rough Cilicia.  This work is funded in part through a grant from the National Science Foundation.  Some Purdue students participate in the work.

Indiana Classical Conference
The newsletter of the Indiana Classical Conference, “Latiniana” is now available on line:  Debra Baker-Schneider of Seymour HS is the editor. The ICC met in conjunction with the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers’ Association meeting in November.  It is time to elect a new president and no one wishes to volunteer for the position.  If no one is found at the time of the spring meeting, the ICC may have to disband. There will be an IJCL trip to Italy for Latin teachers and students in the summer.

The problem with Latin at Castle HS in Southern Indiana was brought up at a recent meeting of ICC.  An active Latin program has been down-sized because the principal says he could not find a good replacement teacher.  A teacher was called out of retirement to teach one or 2 classes, but after this academic year, the school plans to drop Latin.  Tom Sienkewicz of the CPL has talked to the teacher and to one or two parents.  M. Payne wrote letters to the school board members and the principal and encouraged those at the ICC meeting to write as well; M. Payne provided the addresses at the ICC meeting.

3) Report from
Michigan (Mark Williams, State VP)

Secondary Schools:
We begin with a sad note. Our colleague and friend Mary Jo LaPlante passed away March 1, 2003.  She was 58 years old.  An educator for 35 years, she spent the last 14 years teaching Latin and Mythology at West Ottawa High School in Holland, Mich., where she retired in 2001. An avid traveler, she led many student trips abroad since the 1970s. She was also an administrator for the Michigan Junior Classical League for many years, helping promote the study of Latin and the Classics in schools. She was educated at Kalamazoo Central High School and earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Michigan. She will be missed.

Most high school and middle school programs in Michigan seem to be holding their own; some are expanding, and a few seem endangered.  On the positive side, Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills) has put in Latin as a requirement for the new Boys’ Middle School; they may also ask the teacher to also reinstate Latin in the Girls’ High School.  At the University of Detroit Jesuit High School Latin is thriving under the tutelage of Nick Young and John Feeney, with 160 students. In addition, Nick was highlighted in the 2001/2002 teachers’ guide for the PBS NOVA series about the Roman Baths and in June he was named Detroit area classics teacher of the year by the Detroit Classical Association.  Feeney and Young were highlighted in an article about the resurgence of Latin in the April 26, 2002 issue of
Michigan Catholic-with pictures even!  Two schools that ended their Latin programs last year, West Ottawa HS (near Holland, MI) and the Forest Hills Public Schools (a suburb of Grand Rapids), both of which were the subjects of national letter-writing campaigns, are now said to be considering the reintroduction of Latin, although no final decisions have been made yet.  In the meantime, several Forest Hills students are driving to East Grand Rapids High School to continue their Latin; several others are dually enrolled in area colleges. 


There is ample evidence of creativity in Michigan Latin classrooms.  In rural Newago County, Carol Korenstra began teaching Latin several years ago for six students county-wide.  Now, using distance learning, she attracted nineteen students at the beginning of the year. Sue Millar (East Grand Rapids) is teaching an after-school Latin class for six middle school students under the auspices of the EGR Recreation Department (surely a first!); she is also planning a summer school Latin Camp through the EGR Recreation Department.

Meanwhile, in Kalamazoo
Frank Cody writes, “My biggest worry right now is that with the budget going south my small Latin program, probably at a school with the oldest continuous Latin program in the state of Michigan or one of the oldest, might not survive.  Typically, I get about 20 students into Latin I.  This year I have seven in Latin 2, nine in Latin 3, and two in Latin 4, all taught in the same period.  I am fortunate to have an intern this year to do Latin 2.  Once we are able to get students from Latin 1 to 2, they show a great perseverance in the program, but getting them through Latin 1 and wanting to take Latin 2 is sometimes difficult.  The assistant principal takes a rather mechanical approach to whether a course will go or not, and I think it will become only more so as we plan for next year.  Less than twenty students enrolling is the measure as to whether a course is retained or not.  I also have a concern when I retire within the next five years about the survival of the program.  I currently spend the rest of my school day teaching in my other major, social studies.”


The Michigan Classical Conference is trying to put together a master list of Latin programs at all educational levels in the state, complete with email addresses.  It is hoped that we will be able to support one another by orchestrating quick-response letter writing campaigns whenever we hear of an endangered program.  Last year we responded to the threatened closures of programs in Ottawa County and Forest Hills after the final decisions had been all but made; in the future we will try to move more quickly and effectively. 

Colleges and Universities
 The big news at the college/university level in Michigan is the astounding growth of the University of Michigan’s undergraduate program.  This program has grown to well over a hundred majors, which makes the rest of us wonder what they have put in the water in Ann Arbor.  Kudos to Deborah Pennell Ross and any others who have obviously put a lot of effort into undergraduate teaching.


The program at Calvin College remains relatively strong, with about 35 to 40 majors in an average year; most of these are students who choose a field in classics as a second major, to complement a pre-professional program, although others are majoring in classics because they see it as practical preparation for graduate studies in ancient philosophy, ancient and medieval history, librarianship and other such fields. 


At Michigan State the department (Romance and Classical Languages) has split into two new departments (Spanish & Portuguese) and French, Classics, and Italian.  In Classics there is a fourth faculty member, Bradley Buszard, visiting this year, and  a new tenure stream colleague  from Religious Studies, Chris Frilingos.  Latin enrollments are high and way over subscribed in the fall. The annual course on Greek Mythology regularly enrolls around 250 students.  Greek has, as always, small numbers, but several students went on to graduate school last year, and one is going into a top Ph.D. program next year.  There is also an on-line course in elementary Latin.

The new classics department at Grand Valley State University goes from strength to strength; GVSU has hired several new instructors and now boasts a department of five. Michele Valerie Ronnick of Wayne State University was the recipient of an Ovatio given with much animation by James May at the CAMWS Presidential Banquet.
In summary, we have much to be thankful for in Michigan classics, but we also have areas of concern about which we must be vigilant.  Students and friends of the classics in Michigan are grateful for the support of CAMWS, ACL, JCL and related organizations.