Latin classes end for Oakwood

Jan Wagoner and Addison Caruso (11) translate a text during Latin IV AP. This is the last and only class Oakwood students can take. Jan Wagoner and Addison Caruso (11) translate a text during Latin IV AP. This is the last and only class Oakwood students can take. “Basically, it was cancelled because of the numbers–we couldn’t support the program,” Paul Waller said, “Basically, it was cancelled because of the numbers–we couldn’t support the program.”

This year, Oakwood Latin classes come to the end.

AP Latin IV meets during third period for current Juniors finishing out their high school Latin education. After the school curriculum cut Latin from the list of available courses, the current Juniors could still take Latin to finish their foreign language credits. Latin IV AP is the last Latin course available at Oakwood.

“I think there are numerous benefits to taking Latin. The biggest is an increase in English vocabulary. 67% or so of English words come from Latin. One Latin word can almost get you a hundred English [words],” said Janet Wagoner, who has taught Latin for 39 years.

The course has many benefits. Junior Brad Malone said that he took Latin through two years of high school to help his vocabulary for the SAT.

“I think it was helpful with English. It helps with the understanding of the English language,” Malone said.

“As you learn a foreign language, it helps you understand English. It also helps with problem solving skills,” said Wagoner.

Other students argue about the need for the class. Claire Martin (10) has never taken the course, or had an interest in Latin.

“I think it’s just another language, so it doesn’t really have an impact on the school. But we should be exposed to different cultures,” Martin said.

Paul Waller, principal, said that Latin was discontinued mainly because of the numbers–not enough students wanted to take the class. With the addition of Chinese as a foreign language, Latin was not as necessary.

“I think Mrs. Wagoner has done a great job with the program… we wanted to make sure we could meet the needs of the students who signed up four years ago,” Waller said.

Wagoner said, “I think it’s a shame. I think it’s very valuable. But that’s just what happens.”

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