OHIO VALLEY REGION
Judith de Luce, Vice-President for Ohio
Charles O. Lloyd, Vice-President for West Virginia
John Sarkissian, Regional Vice-President
· Preserving Latin Programs
Judith de Luce had the pleasure of attending the Talawanda High School Awards ceremony in Oxford, Ohio, where she presented the CAMWS Award for Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Classics to student Lindsay Meck and her mother Kathy Ellison, for their ongoing work on behalf of Latin at Talawanda High School. The letter nominating them cited the range of activities which Meck and Ellison initiated to call attention to the proposed elimination of Latin from the Talawanda curriculum in fall 2000, to promote student interest in studying Latin, and to provide continuing support of Latin at the high school. These activities included a radio show focused on Latin, a Task Force which explored alternatives to provide Latin instruction for Talawanda students and lobbied for the preservation of Latin at the school, a Classics Bee and other activities designed to create interest in Latin among eighth grade students. Despite these extraordinary efforts the future of Latin at Talawanda has not been secured. While Latin was not eliminated, it was agreed that its status would be reconsidered and there were no guarantees that it would continue to be offered at all levels. Now, a school levy has failed and the current Latin teacher is planning to retire. There is apprehension that, if the school does not find a replacement readily, this situation may persuade the school to eliminate Latin. If that happens, only those students who can adjust their schedules to get to the Miami University campus will have access to Latin.
The Latin program at Stow High School was facing elimination, until a school levy succeeded, thereby saving the program, although the fourth year of all languages at Stow is still in jeopardy. Many from within the state and, thanks to the efforts of CPL, from without, engaged in a letter-writing campaign to urge the Stow Board of Education to restore fourth-year language study. What makes the Stow situation especially painful is that Stow is known in the state for the excellence of its students, the vitality of the Latin Club, and its participation in JCL activities.
· Co-operation with Teachers of Other Languages
This past fall a focus group from around the state was convened by the Ohio Department of Education and the Writing Team for the Foreign Language Academic Content Standards to discuss the Foreign Language Standards and Indicators. Judith de Luce attended. Classics is well represented on the writing team and this representation and the opportunity to participate in focus groups should help ensure that the standards reflect accurately the actual goals of Latin and Greek classes in Ohio schools and the methods used to achieve those goals.
In West Virginia, meanwhile, Latin teachers came together again as a component of the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association Meeting in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, September 27-28, 2002. At this meeting the Classics faculty of Marshall University announced the addition of a new full-time faculty member, Professor Jerise Fogel. Professor Fogel presented a workshop for teachers on oral conventions in the speeches of Cicero and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. which engendered discussion of various classroom applications.
· State Classics Meetings
This year’s Ohio Classical Conference, held in Cincinnati in October, included among a wide range of topics, a session on language learning and one on teaching Latin to students with various learning challenges.
West Virginia Latin teachers held their annual meeting in conjunction with the state JCL meeting on February 21-22, 2002 at West Virginia University, Morgantown. Topics discussed included what was happening in classrooms in the state, current issues with Latin textbooks, and ways to improve Latin instruction in the state. Discussion centered on how to organize meetings which will provide information and opportunities for planning events which will really help classroom teachers. A web site for the West Virginia Classical Association was planned and will actually become a reality by the end of this month.
Approximately 130 high school Latin students who represented six high schools met at the West Virginia JCL Convention. Latin teachers organized all contests and events, and the coordinator of the event, Dr. Nicoletta Villa-Sella of Linsly Academy, arranged for a guest speaker from Pompeiiana, who played the role of a Roman professional mourner to help students portray a Roman funeral. The Marshall University Maier Latin Sight-Reading Contest with substantial monetary awards was also an important convention event.
· Awards and other support for Classics
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.
In support of teachers, students, and programs in Classics in the state, the OCC awards annually: the Ohio Classical Conference Scholarship for the Study of Latin in a college or university in the United States., awarded to a high school senior; the Charles T. Murphy Scholarship for Foreign Study for Ohio teachers of classics; the Scholarship for Prospective Latin Teachers, awarded to a student who is at least a sophomore in college; a commendation for the teaching of Latin and Classics in grades 1 through 8 in Ohio schools.
The most prestigious award offered by the OCC is the Hildesheim Vase. The OCC has sponsored this award since 1925 when Dr. Louis B. Lord gave the Conference the Hildesheim Vase on behalf of the Oberlin Classics Club. The trophy is one of only three full-scale replicas of the ancient Roman crater which was part of a silver horde discovered near Hildesheim, Germany in 1868. The OCC has awarded the vase annually since 1925 to recognize an exemplary secondary Classics or Latin program in the state of Ohio. The award recognizes the program as a whole, including academic achievement, extracurricular activities, success in increasing or maintaining enrollment, and spreading the influence of Classics in the community. The winner of the 2002 award was the Latin program at The Wellington School in Columbus where Susan Bonvallet heads the program. The committee said of the winning program: “The Wellington program is an exciting one taught by an imaginative and accomplished teacher, who brings to her classes a thoughtful teaching philosophy, a variety of effective teaching practices, wide-ranging experience, and enormous energy.” Susan Bonvallet will be familiar to some of you for her activity with the Advanced Placement Program; indeed, she has been serving as the chair of the exam development committee in addition to being a faculty consultant.
· National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week
In support of the National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week, on March 5, the Marshall Classics Department mailed 200 copies of a flyer which explained Marshall’s Latin certification program and other possible career opportunities for Latin majors. Marshall University is the only institution in the state training Latin teachers, and the recipients of the flyer are state high school guidance counselors, foreign language teachers, and Latin teachers. NLTRW will be the main topic of discussion also at the upcoming WVJCL Convention March 13-14 when West Virginia Latin teachers hold their spring meeting.
Judith de Luce has included in Humanitas (the newsletter for the Ohio Classical Conference) news about the CPL funding opportunities, CAMWS membership, and the Latin Teacher Recruitment Week, and has written to all college and university programs in the state to remind them about individual and institutional membership and about the recruitment week.
· Problems with Latin Honors Day
Edmund Cueva at Xavier University won a CPL award to help defray the expenses of the Latin Honors Day. This event was co-sponsored by the Ohio Classical Conference. Unfortunately, the event had to be cancelled due to insufficient interest. One of the problems was that the state of Ohio has passed a law limiting what vehicles students can travel, essentially restricting them to big yellow buses with a state certified/licensed driver---no matter the number of students. This is an issue anyone wanting to offer a Latin Day is going to have to bear in mind.
· Web Sites
The Ohio Classical Conference web site <http://dept.kent.edu/mcls/classics/occ/>, under the care of Robert Larson, who teaches as Ravenna High School, was recognized by CAMWS at the 2002 meeting as the most improved Web site.
As was mentioned above, the West Virginia Classical Association will have a web site up by the end of the month.
· Advanced Placement Latin Chief Faculty Consultant
After serving this year as Chief Reader Designate, John Sarkissian of Youngstown State University will become the next Chief Faculty Consultant for the Advanced Placement Latin examinations, beginning in 2004.