OHIO VALLEY REGION
In both states in the region, annual meetings provide opportunities for professional growth and discussion of mutual concerns. Latin teachers in West Virginia met on two occasions. As always, West Virginia Latin teachers held their annual meeting at the JCL Convention, where they addressed common problems and the ways and means to improve Latin instruction in the state. They also met in Charleston at the fall meeting of the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association, where they planned the upcoming JCL convention and considered Latin textbooks for statewide adoption. At the 2002 JCL convention, plans were made for a representative of the Marshall Classics faculty to speak at the 2002 West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association meeting next fall.
The Ohio Classical Conference held its 2001 meeting in Toledo this past October, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Toledo Museum of Art. In attendance were Classicists from Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. Among the many interesting presentations on a variety of topics was a workshop presented by Susan Bonvallet, Judith de Luce and John Sarkissian on those sections of the Advanced Placement Vergil curriculum which are read by students in English.
The Ohio Classical Conference also supports teachers, students and programs in Classics through a series of annual awards: 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. In addition, the OCC awards a commendation for the teaching of Latin and Classics in grades 1 through 8 in Ohio schools, and the Hildesheim Vase, the organization’s most prestigious award.
The OCC has sponsored this award since Dr. Louis B. Lord presented the Hildesheim Vase to the OCC on behalf of the Oberlin Classics Club in 1925. The trophy is one of only three full-scale replicas of the ancient Roman crater, which was part of a silver hoard discovered near Hildesheim, Germany in 1868. The OCC has awarded the Vase annually since 1925 in recognition of an exemplary secondary school 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 remarkable quality of the applications made the decision especially difficult for the awards committee, but the winner of the 2001 award was the Classics program at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. The award was accepted by John Emmett on behalf of St. Xavier and his colleagues, Sr. Georgia Messingschlager and Edward J. Hausfeld.
Awards are also available to deserving high school students and programs in West Virginia. This academic year, Marshall University introduced a new contest for the best high school Latin Club website. Awards will be $300 for first place and $200 for second, which will be donated to the treasury of the winning Latin clubs. In addition the Maier Foundation offers a total of $3900 in Latin awards and contests: High School Latin Cup Awards, High School Latin Sight-Reading Contest; the Maier Latin Scholarship at Marshall University.
Stergios Lazos of St. Edward’s High School in Lakewood, Ohio, received an award from the CPL for the purchase of a certamen machine, which will support all programs in this area of the state, which, until this time, has had no such machine.
Individuals in both states are making larger contributions to the promotion of Latin. Two expert Latin teachers from West Virginia, Ede Ashworth (Brooke County High School, 1415 Pleasant Avenue, Wellsburg, WV 26070), and Robin Snyder, who is retired, (1626 Quarrier Street, Charleston, WV 25311) have made themselves available to speak to college students about careers in high school Latin teaching. Susan Bonvallet of The Wellington School in Columbus is currently serving as chair of the Development Committee for the Advanced Placement Latin examination. She has recently been joined on that committee by John Sarkissian of Youngstown State University. They both served, along with Judith de Luce of Miami, herself a former Chief Reader, as faculty consultants for the 2001 reading.
Robert Larson of Ravenna High School has continued to upgrade the OCC Web site (<<http:dept.kent.edu/mcls/classics/occ/>>), which now includes not only information about the OCC but also links to other useful Classics sites. Work has almost been completed on the West Virginia Classics website, which will be uploaded in May.
There are, however, battles to be fought in each state. Classics professors at Marshall University, the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association and Latin teachers from all over the state are joining efforts to prevent the planned termination of the Latin program in Wellsburg, West Virginia (Brooke County); letters are being written and speakers are being organized to present a counter proposal which, it is hoped, may result in a favorable reconsideration of the board’s decision. A similar campaign has been underway in Ohio, since the year 2000, when it was first announced that the Latin program at Talawanda High School in Oxford would be cut. The school board finally agreed to offer Latin I and II for each of the next two years, and, depending on the number of students interested, Latin III. The program will be re-evaluated after the 2002-2003 school year, and the situation will bear close monitoring.
On another front, as was reported last year, foreign languages was left out of the list of subjects which must be taught in Ohio schools. (The omission was apparently the result of administrative oversight, but there seemed to be little interest, at that level, in correcting this oversight.) Thanks to the persistent efforts of the Ohio Foreign Language Association, as well as compelling letters from such organizations as the OCC, foreign languages have subsequently been added to the new Operating Standards for Ohio Schools. OFLA is anxious to see Ohio Revised Code 3313.60 include foreign languages, but the process is a lengthy one. That organization is working to change that code and has identified a legislator who has agreed to write the bill. OFLA is currently working to get sponsors.
Finally, to conclude on a brighter note, Latin will be included in next year’s National Board Certification, along with Japanese. This year only French, German and Spanish teachers could apply. Sherwin Little, Indian Hills High School and Vice President of the American Classical League, is serving on the committee, established by the Education Testing Service, to look into this matter. ETS is the contractor for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification assessments.
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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