Monday, February 13, 2006


I have been teaching Latin for the past 19 years. I graduated magna cum laude from Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, VA, in 1987 with a B.A. degree in Classics: Latin Concentration, with an endorsement in education. I spent one year teaching at Fauquier High School in Warrenton, VA, before moving to the brand-new Chancellor High School in Spotsylvania County, where I worked for the next 16 years. When Riverbend High School, Spotsylvania County's newest high school, opened in 2004, I made the move there in order to give myself a new and fresh start. I viewed that move as an opportunity to hit the "restart button" on my career, but I find myself returning to my old ways and techniques (that is a subject for a later posting).

I have taught Latin on all levels: Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, Latin IV, Latin V, AP Vergil, and AP Latin Literature, including Catullus, Ovid, and Horace. I have not taught Latin I for quite a long time (perhaps 12 years now?) and remain ambivalent as to whether I miss it or not. I enjoy teaching the advanced levels where I get to share the joys of authentic Latin literature with my students. After all, that is the true purpose of learning Latin -- being able to read, translate, understand, discuss, and enjoy Latin literature in the original language. I prefer the works of Vergil, Ovid, Martial, Pliny the Younger, and Cicero, but have interest in them all.

During my career I have sponsored a very active and fun Latin Club and JCL chapter. I will discuss specific activities at a later time but we do attend our state convention every year and I have had students attend the national convention on occasion. I also sponsor certamen and have competed in this activity since 1989, hosting our own tournament annually since 1990. Professionally, I am a member of the American Classical League, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the Classical Association of Virginia, the Foreign Language Association of Virginia, and the founding member of the Fredericksburg Area Latin Teachers' Association. I was "president" of FALTA from 1990-2000, and have served as the editor of the CAV website since 1996. I was also editor of the FLAVA website from 1998-2005. I call the position "website editor" because "webmaster" sounds so pretentious. This school year I became the chair of the World Languages Department at RHS... and this has certainly been a learning experience!

Posting on a blog is something that will take a little getting used to... I feel a bit like Pliny the Younger who wrote his letters with an eye toward publication. What a vain and arrogant thing this could be!

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