Monday, December 7, 2020

East Aurora Union Free School District Latin program wins June U. Stillwell Award

At this year’s Annual CAES Institute, the June U. Stillwell Outstanding New York State Latin Program Award was presented to the East Aurora Union Free School District. On behalf of the board members of the Classical Association of the Empire State, the award was presented to Brian Serwicki and Kate Hannon by CAES scholarship chair, William Breitweiser.

The Latin program at East Aurora Union Free School District began in March 2006 and spans East Aurora Middle School and East Aurora High School, with 7th grade Latin, levels 1-4, and AP Latin. Latin represents 20-25% of each graduating class at East Aurora High School. There are two full-time Latin teachers, Brian Serwicki and Kate Hannon. The students participate in Latin Club, the National Latin Exam, the Junior Classical League, and the university at the high school program. They are planning a trip to Italy for 2021. Independent studies are provided for students who cannot fit Latin into their schedules. The program has grown over time and includes many interactive aspects for the students, including: competitive games, projects, skits, music videos, songs, choice stories, and investigative mysteries. One recommender wrote: “One of the things that most struck me during my visit was Brian’s interest in bringing Latin to life through debate among his students. It was an indication that his goals went, rightly so, beyond just language study. He was interested in getting his students to think and to make arguments.” As Latin teachers, we are always striving to instill in our students an excitement of learning beyond Latin in the classroom and it is clear that the Latin program at East Aurora Union Free School District does just that. Congratulations to Brian Serwicki, Kate Hannon, and the East Aurora Union Free School District for receiving the June U. Stillwell Outstanding New York State Latin Program Award.

Brian Serwicki and Kate Hannon