In early June of 1994, I walked into the Upper School office to offer an incomparable witticism about writing comments in June. I never uttered my comment about comments, for my presence resulted in a question. “Phil, you took Latin in high school and college. Would you like to teach it next term?” Rare is the moment I have been at a loss of words -- unless someone is asking me about science, sports, or mathematics. I am not positive if I stuttered a monosyllabic response or not. Chris DeAntoni, the Latin teacher who was leaving to save our world from petty dictators on steroids, and Tony Gerlicz, the Head of the Upper School, said they were desperate. I was too numb to say, “If you’re speaking to me about teaching Latin, you must be.” A simple “no-no” was swirling in my head.

What followed was a sane conversation and a gentle plea to consider teaching an eighth grade Latin (twice a week/before school)and keep two sections of seventh grade English.

Of course, I agreed, despite sentiments shared by colleagues and friends warning me to steer away from yet another career change within the school. That afternoon and the next day I found myself secreted in one of my former classrooms rummaging through a large closet filled with Latin materials. Chris was certain I would find materials to spark my interest. I camped out in the room and began sorting through years and years of books. I found enough materials to start a bonfire or announce a garage sale. By the end of the next day, I had a box of books ready to mail home to my parents.

My adventure in the world of Latin was just beginning. Little did I know. . .

Graland Country Day School

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Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.