Presentations

This one-day workshop for Latin teachers of all levels will focus on the theme of 21st Century Skills in the Latin classroom. All sessions will be led by experienced Latin teachers and will provide the opportunity for individual or collaborative work time.

Nota Bene: Please be sure to bring two units of instruction and the technology of your choice (iPad, laptop, etc.) to use during the day!

William Nifong, World Languages Department Chair and Latin Teacher,

Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago (2010-present)


Will was graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Classical Studies and Comparative Literature. He subsequently earned an M.A. in Classical Studies from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in Education & Social Policy from Northwestern University, and both a J.D. and an LL.M. in International & Comparative Law from Duke. In a career now spanning 25 years, he has taught Latin, English, and World History at several suburban schools, including Trinity High School in River Forest and both Willowbrook and York High Schools, as well as pioneered numerous humanities-based courses for the gifted at The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth and Northwestern's Center for Talent Development. He has co-taught sections of the graduate-level course Philosophy of Education with Professor Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon at Northwestern's School of Education. In 2014, Mr. Nifong was named the Farrand Baker Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Classical Conference, and he has been honored twice with the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award by the Coca-Cola Foundation (2014, 2015). He is past president of the Illinois Classical Conference and currently serves as co-chair of the Illinois Junior Classical League. From 2000-09, Mr. Nifong, a licensed attorney, was a litigator with large law firms in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Student Collaboration, Self-Direction, and Agency Outside of the Classroom

"From Inspiration to Expedition: Strategies for Nurturing Student Leaders"

As weird as it sounds, inspiring students to believe in the value of the Classics really is the easy part. What is much more difficult is energizing them to take charge of their own learning, to motivate one another as learners, and ultimately to set out with their knowledge to influence and benefit others. Indeed, transferring agency to them is what we all most desire. In this session, we shall consider strategies for guiding students into leadership roles and creating academic, social, and philanthropic activities suited to their self-actualization, including examples from certamen, conventions and curriculum-related travel, and service projects.


Tyler Leach, Latin Teacher and Middle School Division Coordinator,

Baker Demonstration School, Wilmette, IL


Tyler was graduated from Hamilton University with a BA (Honors) in Classical Language. He taught at the Williams School in New London, Connecticut for eight years before coming to Baker Demonstration School.

Tyler has a passion for working with Middle School students and focuses specifically on lessening student anxiety in the Middle School classroom and increasing student agency. Tyler also delights in teaching colleagues about effective uses of technology in their classrooms and has served as an active committee member of the jointly sponsored (by National Louis University and the Illinois Classical Conference) Latin Pedagogy Workshops.

Student Collaboration, Self-Direction, and Agency Inside of the Classroom

We will also ask teachers to consider the creation of a learning community in which students become experts in their content areas via tutorials and/or instructional materials that are available collaboratively to all.



Whitney Hellenbrand, Latin Teacher, Latin School of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2014- present)

After earning a B.A. in Classics from Colgate University, Whitney taught second through fourth grade as a Teach For America corps member in St. Louis. She then earned a M.A. in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught undergraduate courses in Latin, Classical Mythology, Classical Civilization, and Integrated Liberal Studies.

Standards-Based Assessment and Individual Mastery of Content

In this session, the presenter will discuss the use of ACTFL reading comprehension standards and standards-based grading in middle and upper school classrooms. Sample assessments and rubrics will be shared, and participants will walk away with activities that they can implement immediately in their own classrooms.



Chris Mural, Latin Teacher (dual credit with Loyola University),

Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL

Chris is a graduate of Knox College, Argosy University, National Louis University, and a current Masters student in the distance program at University of Florida. He is also active in many professional organizations: HICC (Membership Chair), CAMWS, ACL.

Standards-Based Assessment and Individual Mastery of Content

This session will cover the development of a Standards Based Grading/ Evidence Based Reporting system at the high school level. Also discussed will be the process of preparing a program, developing curriculum and assessment pieces, making feedback and reflection more meaningful, and the remediation and reassessment process. Essentially, how can we best support a growth mindset and solid metacognition?



Amy Pistone, Visiting Assistant Professor, Classics, University of Notre Dame

Amy Pistone received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation, titled "When the Gods Speak: Oracular Communication and Concepts of Language in Sophocles," uses pragmatic linguistic theory to construct a theory of language underlying Sophocles' plays and situates those plays within the intellectual context of late-5th century Athens. Her other interests include Greek tragedy more broadly, feminist theory, pedagogy, and reception. She has also delivered papers on the skolion game, gendered modes of prophecy in tragedy, and receptions and adaptations of Antigone (particularly performances used as political protest). She also served for 4 years as the Graduate Liaison for the Women's Classical Caucus and has been involved in outreach events for high school Latin students and other students who may be interested in Classics.

Social Justice in the Latin Classroom: Facilitating Conversation in Our Content Area

Latin studies offer a perfect opportunity to address the study of bias and diversity as they are reflected in the classical Latin texts read by our students and in our Latin textbooks themselves. We will examine some of the problematic elements that appear in classical literature (including racism, sexism,classism, and ableism) and explore how we as Latin teachers can frame those texts to better meet the needs of our students. We will also explore some of the implicit and explicit biases in our Latin textbooks and consider ways to make our classrooms more inclusive and equitable spaces. Participants will leave with several practical approaches they can apply to their own Latin courses.


Amanda Pagnotta, Latin Teacher, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL

Hailing from Canada, Amanda Pagnotta earned a Bachelor degree in Classics with a language specialization from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Classical Studies from the University of Western Ontario before heading to the Chicago area to finish a Masters in Arts and Teaching from National-Louis University. Amanda has worked at both middle and high school levels, but currently works at Loyola Academy teaching Latin and Ancient Greek across the 9th-11th grade at both the regular and honors tracks.

Alternative Assessments in the 21st Century Classroom:

With the focus today on world-readiness standards and 21st century skills, we, as language teachers, are being asked to consider how best to prepare our students for the future in an ever-changing workplace. Attention has been given to assessment, both its purpose and how we can better ask students to show their mastery of content. Whether we employ technology, integrate performance, or map out levels of proficiency, we are being asked to consider the role of assessment in the modern classroom. For this session, we will look at trends in assessment language practice and the theory behind them to see how we can best serve our 21st century students and then put our knowledge into action with workshop time following.