Traci Dougherty (Incumbent)
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Traci Dougherty is an Exploratory Latin and Latin I educator from Dresher, PA. Dougherty is running for Communications Chair of ETC because she feels that teachers have a responsibility to help not only their students but other teachers as well. Together, she believes we can improve the Latin teaching profession overall and achieve success through shared endeavors.
“To ETC, I would bring my technology expertise, innovative ideas, and a strong work ethic. As a new teacher, I needed an incredible amount of support. As a new LATIN teacher, that support needed for me to have success essentially doubled. The task of SUSTAINing or GROWing a program can be overwhelming and to feel alone during that time IS SCARY. It’s important that new teachers and new programs have the right support to lean on. The mission of ETC is to support teachers at the elementary and middle levels, who are growing programs, as well as supporting NEW programs AT ALL levels. Most teachers, however, are unaware of what ETC is and how ETC can help. As Communications Chair of ETC, I hope to promote ETC and make ETC more helpful and accessible to all teachers by creating a stronger online presence. By using technology, ETC can: connect Latin teachers to other mentor teachers or similar programs, create a collection of shared teaching resources and videos, host a shared blog with content and posts created by teachers. As Communications Chair, I will work with the ETC board to maximize 21st-century tools, social media, and technology to create a support network for Latin teachers that is instantly accessible. I can't wait to collaborate with other educators through ETC. ”
Dougherty earned her undergraduate degrees in History, English, and Latin, and graduated from Temple University, magna cum laude in 2007. She earned her Masters in education from Temple University in 2009. Additionally, Dougherty completed the post-baccalaureate program in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her teaching certificate from Villanova University. In her district, Dougherty created a middle school Latin club and a Latin summer camp enrichment program. She believes that hands-on activities and fun have an important place in the language classroom. In addition to teaching full time, she works part-time teaching Latin in a virtual environment. Professionally, Dougherty has attended a number of workshops to improve her teaching, including, more recently, a National TPR Storytelling Conference. In addition, Dougherty has presented at many ACL Institutes, including sessions on “Tactility in the Classroom: A Hands-on Approach ” and “Comprehensible Consequences: A First-Year Report.”
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Megan DeGraff-McMenamy is the Latin teacher at the Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, NJ. She began her study of Latin as a 7th-grade student and took the language for six years before going off to college. As Information Chair, Degraff-McMenamy would take this opportunity to broaden outreach to other Middle School teachers.
“Living in NJ, I would use my location to network with others and possibly hold a colloquium for middle school teachers to get together and share their resources. With the connections I have made in other schools, I would visit them, explore their programs, and provide information about ETC. Middle School is often underrepresented and using the ETC platform would bring more attention to it. In this role, I would hope to bring more to the Latin community as a whole and I look forward to working with others.”
At New York University, Degraff-McMenamy was a Childhood Education/Special Education major and is a certified Childhood/Special Education teacher in New York. Although Degraff-McMenamy chose to pursue other languages (Italian, Hebrew) in college, it was her work in teaching Latin to 7th-8th grade students at Poly Prep Country Day in Brooklyn, NY, that reignited her love of the Classics.
After completing her Masters in Computing in Education, from Teachers College Columbia University, Degraff-McMenamy decided that she wanted to return to school to earn a degree in Latin to hone her skills. She received her second bachelor's degree from Montclair State in Latin, and it was “the best decision she has ever made for her career.” Currently, Degraff-McMenamy is pursuing another master’s degree from Villanova University (PA) in Classical Studies in the hopes of continuing to learn more about the language that she loves.
One aspect of Degraff-McMenamy’s teaching that she takes pride in the most is her ability to differentiate her teaching for students with learning differences. Degraff-McMenamy cites her educational background in Special Education as a true resource. Her studies in this arena have impacted her teaching tremendously and have completely changed the way that she delivers material to make Latin more accessible to students who might not have had the opportunity.
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When Brad Savage began teaching Latin to students PreK-High School at The Einstein Academy near Chicago, he scoured the web and talked to countless teachers of Latin, Spanish, and French, seeking guidance for teaching language to primary age and pre-literate children. He discovered Minimus, Ascanius, and various ACL resources, but even most of those assumed students could read and write. Relying largely on teachers across the spectrum, he began to develop material for primary school students, sharing and collaborating with friends over email and online through various Facebook groups, and through involvement with several Classical organizations.
Savage sought out and won several small grants to supplement the teaching resources he was creating, largely because materials for MS and LS Latin can be difficult to find and because his budget to buy new materials was non-existent. Savage understands that such funding is vital to teachers, new and experienced, and through his involvement with ETC and other educational organizations, he hopes to increase awareness of and funding for these programs. Savage has worked extensively organizing and publicizing and creating scholarship opportunities for his school and for other organizations, and he is excited to bring this expertise to ETC so that even more people can benefit financially and educationally.
Savage sees the information chair position as an opportunity to understand and respond to the needs of our members and to make existing programs even better. Savage is committed to expanding the idea of what it means to reach out to our members, and he has made inclusion of all kinds his guide as he has worked collaboratively at his own school, in his region, and throughout the country as a member of various Classical committees and on school review boards. His goal is always to make sure teacher voices are heard and that administration listens to the needs identified by faculty and community members.
Savage graduated from The Ohio State University in 1997 with degrees in Classics and Political Science and from The University of Washington in 1999 with an MA in Classics. While working on his dissertation at UCLA, he left graduate school in 2007 to pursue teaching. For the past 7 years, Savage has taught Latin (and sometimes math) to students from pre-K through high school at the Einstein Academy near Chicago. Savage’s current post allows him to teach using a wide variety of styles and methodologies. Given his rigorous teaching load and responsibilities during the academic year, Savage likes to spend his summers learning and growing as a teacher through professional development.
In 2016, Savage attended the Classical Summer School at the American School in Rome, and in 2018 he won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study Roman Daily Life (one of the most amazing learning opportunity of his career); and in 2019, he was honored to spend 2 weeks at an Advanced Placement Summer Institute in Italy with the Vergilius Society. The friendships made during those tours will stick with him as long as he lives, and those kind, generous teachers remain an inspiration to him in more ways than they will ever know!
Savage is proudest of his work serving on the steering committee for a Latin Pedagogy Conference sponsored by National Louis University. This yearly, one-day seminar brings together teachers from across the mid-West and develops programming for Latin teachers of all levels and pedagogical methods. He would like to use his time working with ETC to develop partnerships such as this across the country.
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Andrea Stehle has been teaching Latin for 31 years. She taught Latin at Victoria High School, Stevens High School, and is now the middle school Latin teacher at BASIS San Antonio (TX) Shavano Campus. Stehle has been involved with ETC and its programs since its inception.
“As a classics teacher, the ETC resources and ideas have influenced my Latin program. I have been an advocate for the National Mythology Exam in every school where I have taught and often share it with the other schools in my community. I have sponsored more than one Myth Camp where my high students teach the elementary school students and we ALL take the NME. I love having a new Latin I student who proudly shows me their “NME” award won years earlier that motivated them to choose Latin. I would be honored to help ETC remain a vital part of the teaching of classics at all levels.”
Stehle's most recent contribution to ETC has been her commitment to the National Mythology writing committee. Stehle also serves as a Member-at-large on the ACL Board of Governors and worked with coordinating the Centennial Author Panel at last year’s ACL Institute in NYC.
Some of Stehle’s other professional accomplishments include:
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Catherine Hayward is the Latin teacher at Durham Academy Middle School in Durham, NC. She holds a master’s degree in Classics from Indiana University-Bloomington and has been teaching Latin for eight years. Her recent academic interests are in computational thinking in the Latin classroom. Hayward enjoys learning new technology for education, and she serves on a tech team assisting her colleagues at Durham Academy Middle School. While working from home, Catherine has taken up gardening in addition to her usual hobbies of music and painting.
“I believe that consistent, transparent, and purposeful messaging can help ETC continue its mission to support students and teachers of the Classics. I enjoy working with digital media, and like other teachers around the world, have learned firsthand the importance of digital communication in education. I have experience in organizing and coordinating events that required extensive email and social media correspondence. I am passionate about teaching Latin to middle and high school students, and I hope that this can be a way for me to help even more students around the country.”
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Emily Lewis is a Latin teacher at the middle and high school levels in Fairfax County, VA.
When she was in eleventh grade, Lewis knew she wanted to become a Latin teacher. As a student on the search committee for a new Latin teacher for her high school, she realized that the pool of Classics teachers was small and learned that the body of resources for Classics teachers was minuscule. Driven by her passion to make Classics teaching better, Lewis headed for Bryn Mawr College, eager to learn all that she could to be the best teacher she could be. What she didn’t expect was that at Bryn Mawr, she would learn how to publicize and lead a program and create materials to make that program better.
As the major representative for the Classics department, Lewis did just that. When she graduated, she was ready to spread the word about Classics not only to the students at her school but to the students in the surrounding areas. While earning her MAT from Boston University, she got involved with JCL and Certamen and has never looked back, getting her school involved in JCL and assisting other area schools in getting involved as well. Her mission is to get Latin programs to thrive and to do that, a program needs great teachers, great students, and great publicity. Lewis loves to help other teachers launch Latin and Certamen programs and has also assisted students in helping their teachers to build robust programs including Junior Classical League chapters at their schools. To this end, she fully believes that getting students started in Latin as early as possible and showing students, teachers, parents, and administrators that Classics helps younger students perform at high levels keeps the programs not just alive, but healthy.
Emily hopes that through the Public Relations Chair position, she can help ETC reach even more teachers and students and get more Latin and Classics programs growing!
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Dr. Abigail Simone, a Latin teacher at Houston High School in Germantown, TN, has been teaching Latin for 17 years in public and private schools.
“My interest in serving as Public Relations chair for ETC was piqued by the outstanding public relations job the committee created to provide learning opportunities for students during the COVID-19 crisis. From games to cooking, to dressing up and touring, my students and I enjoyed watching and discussing the presentation, and as a teacher, I sincerely appreciated the ready-made academic content I could provide to my students during a stressful time! Our classics community is so supportive of each other, and I hope to continue to provide meaningful opportunities to connect with each other and provide wide access to great, high interest, materials that not only engage with content but promote future study.
As a mid-career public school teacher, I feel the pressure of constantly having to promote and re-invent my high school Latin program in the face of tighter budgets and more demanding state and federal mandates. As Public Relations Chair, my goal is to highlight the outstanding activities of ETC and its members while continuing to provide ready-made materials and activities for teachers to promote and expand programming in their schools and communities.
My skill set in social media, graphic design, and program promotion will help the ETC serve our colleagues and offer opportunities for teacher and student recognition, which are often on the back burner of a teacher’s “to do” list.”
Dr. Simone earned her undergraduate degree in Latin and History and a master’s degree in secondary teaching from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She also earned a doctoral degree in Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Memphis. Dr. Simone has taught Latin I, II, III, and AP Latin in her current position for 13 years, where she also serves as the Director of the Houston Honors Academy program, an open enrollment program for advanced academics. She also functions as the school webmaster and manages the school’s social media presence.
Dr. Simone received the Distinguished Latin Teaching Award from the Tennessee Classical League in 2011 and was named the 2019 Teacher of the Year by the Germantown Municipal School District. She also serves as the West Tennessee sponsor of the Tennessee Junior Classical League where she oversees the graphic and creative arts convention competitions, the Tennessee Classical Association, where she is a past president, CAMWS and ACL.
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When Kristin Slonsky first heard about Classics through a program on the History channel, she was a 15-year-old girl longing to escape the beauty of Hawaii and its laid back island culture. Although born in CA, Slonsky moved to HI as an infant. Her family bounced around in the Philippines and Japan before they returned to Hawaii for her to finish high school.
Slonsky said that she decided to pursue a major in the Classics as she watched a program on the history channel and saw the word ‘Classics’ for the first time. After researching more about Classics online, she was quickly drawn towards it because it felt like she was choosing every subject rather than just one. Little did she know that choosing a major at 15, especially one that involved the study of Latin and ancient Greek, was virtually unheard of. Moreover, she had no idea that Latin was even offered at public schools or that organizations like the JCL even existed.
Much to the chagrin of her parents, Slonsky traveled halfway around the world sight unseen to Dalhousie University in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, where she dove into Latin and Greek in her first year, overly eager to learn everything she could about the ancient world. Eventually, she received both her bachelor’s and her master’s in Classics at Dal.
After a stint as a Visiting Lecturer of Latin and Greek at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Slonsky believed more than ever that more teaching at the college level was in her future and so she then matriculated into a Ph.D. program at SUNY Buffalo. However, after 4 years of a demanding adjunct teaching schedule and with a baby on the way, Slonsky moved to Texas and became certified in Latin. She was hired as a Latin teacher for Leander ISD. Switching from college to high school has required a major attitude shift on Slonsky’s part, but, for her, it’s been so worth it.
Twenty years of Classics later, Slonsky has the wisdom and the honesty to admit that there is still so much that she has left to learn about the practice of teaching. To this effect, she has chosen to undertake several opportunities to acquire more pedagogical knowledge and thus become a better teacher. She served as a reader at the AP Latin Reading in 2016, became an IB certified teacher in 2017, developed the curriculum for her district’s Latin PLC in 2018, and finished a second master’s in Education in 2019.
Now, with her Latin program expanding into two feeder middle schools, Slonsky has decided to run for the position of ETC public relations chair because she wants to do more with the knowledge that she has acquired. In her eyes, the best thing about ETC is its effort to reach out to prospective Classicists like she was and help them thrive.
“I know that my decision to choose Classics 20 years ago has truly enabled me to have a blessed life.”