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Mission & Philosophy

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the National Latin Exam to promote and support the learning and teaching of the Latin language.

Philosophy

The philosophy of the National Latin Exam is predicated on providing every Latin student the opportunity to experience a sense of personal accomplishment and success in their study of the Latin language and culture. This opportunity exists for each individual student since, on the National Latin Exam, they are not competing with their fellow student on a comparative basis, but are evaluated solely on their own performance on the exam. The basic purposes of the NLE are to promote the study of Latin and to encourage the individual student.

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The National Latin Exam promotes and supports the teaching and learning of the Latin language, its literature and culture, and its lasting influence in the modern world. As part of the American Classical League (“ACL”), the National Latin Exam affirms the same beliefs that the ACL shared with its membership. For those of you who did not receive ACL’s email, you will find our shared core values here:

  • We welcome diverse ideas and perspectives and encourage broad participation in ACL-sponsored activities and endeavors.
  • We embrace all people who have an interest in the ancient world from all levels of instruction, stages of life, and backgrounds.
  • We believe the study of Classics should intentionally explore the diversity of ancient Greek and Roman societies and include voices that historically have been excluded or under-represented.


The NLE is committed to creating exams with inclusive, affirming questions and passages. The NLE will strive to provide questions and passages that affirm the worth and dignity of all students and teachers.

In particular, the NLE will add several readers during the exam writing process who will specifically focus on diversity and inclusion to ensure that our exams reflect our shared values listed above. In addition, the NLE will explore ways to incorporate questions that help combat systems of oppression. The NLE will be meeting with The University of Mary Washington’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion to explore ways to provide more equity and inclusion on future exams. The NLE plans to review all old questions on its online app and to remove any that do not align with the NLE’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In short, NLE writers plan to compose and assess questions with greater awareness moving forward. We are grateful for those who have raised concerns about diversity, inclusion, and equity, and we welcome future dialogue regarding ways the NLE can support these values. Please do not hesitate to contact Co-Chairs Mark Keith (mark.keith@nle.org) or Patty Lister (patty.lister@nle.org). Respectfully, The National Latin Exam Committee


COMMITTEES

Writing & Steering Committee

It usually takes the committee twelve to fifteen sessions averaging three to four hours each to complete the work associated with the exams. In addition to the general working sessions, each committee member spends hours taking care of specific tasks such as answering correspondence, word processing, record keeping, publicizing the exam, and writing newsletter articles.

  • Mark Keith, Co-Chair, Spotsylvania County (VA) Public Schools (retired), Fredericksburg, VA
  • Patty Lister, Co-Chair, Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology,  Alexandria, VA
  • Joe Davenport, Norwell MS, Norwell, MA
  • Deb Heaton, Treasurer, retired, Lexington, MA
  • Ian Hochberg, The Browning School, New York, NY
  • Caroline Kelly, Mitchell Community College, Statesville, NC
  • William Lee, Tom C. Clark HS, San Antonio, TX
  • Jackie Lund, Bexley HS, Columbus, OH
  • Micheal Posey, Mountain Brook Junior High School, Mountain Brook, AL 
  • Sally Davisemerita, Arlington, VA
  • Jane Hallemerita, White Stone, VA
  • Betty Merrillemerita, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Linda Montrossemerita, Heathsville, VA
     

Office Staff

  • Janine Kuty, Office Manager, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Ellen Smith, Administrative Assistant/Data Entry Specialist, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Vivian Hyatt, Student Aide, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
     

Consultants

Every fall the Writing and Steering Committee sends drafts of the seven exams to the consultants who are current high school teachers, college professors, or former educators. These consultants are split into two groups, the first group receiving the exams around mid-September and the second group in mid-October. David Perry, our macron specialist, adds the macrons to all the Latin words on the exams. The consultants carefully critique every question on each of the exams, offer suggestions for improvement, and return their comments to the Writing/Steering Committee within a week’s time. Their ideas and contributions are invaluable in the process of preparing the exams for distribution to national and international Latin students.

  • Elizabeth Baer, Lenox, MA
  • Michael Bales, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • David Bloch, Washington, DC
  • Amy Elifrits, West Chester, OH
  • Amy Leonard, Decatur, GA
  • Ed Long, Clarksville, TN
  • David Pellegrino, Webster, NY
  • Wallace Ragan, Washington, DC
     

Special Consultants

  • Jillian Anthony, DEI Reader, Southborough, MA
  • Cindy Caltagirone, Website Editor
  • Sally Davis, Early Reader, Alrington, VA
  • Melissa Deokaran, DEI Reader, Baltimore, MD
  • Liz Heimbach, Late Reader, Port Royal, VA
  • Liane Houghtalin, UMW Liaison, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Woojin Kim, DEI Reader, Fairfax, VA
  • Betty Merrill, Late Reader, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Linda Montross, Early Reader, Heathsville, VA
  • David Perry, Macrons, Rye, NY
  • Brian Zawiski, DEI Reader, New Windsor, NY
     

Maureen O'Donnell Scholarship for Academic Excellence Committee

The NLE Scholarship committee is composed of seven readers: three college professors and three high school teachers plus the Chair. Only two professors and two high school teachers serve as readers each year. The applications are read several times prior to the selection of the twenty-one scholarship winners and five alternates. The first screening is done by the Chair. A second screening is then done to determine which applications will be sent to the readers. Approximately ninety applications are sent to the readers for a third reading. Each reader selects his top thirty-five applications and returns these selections to the chair. At this time, the committee members’ choices are collated, and the winners are chosen. The names of the Scholars are announced at The American Classical League Institute late in June.

  • Lauren Rogers, Chair, Memphis, TN
  • Sarah Bjorkman, Arlington, MA
  • Randall Childree, Greenville, SC
  • Temple Eller, Greensboro, NC
  • Bob Simmons, Monmouth, IL
  • Michael Sloan, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Sandra Woodward, Salt Lake City, UT
     

Linda Sharrard Montross New Latin Educators Scholarship Committee

  • Margaret Hicks, Co-Chair, Chesterfield, VA
  • Sue Robertson, Co-Chair, Midlothian, VA
  • Kristen Bortner, Fairfax Station, VA
  • Sherry Doerfler, Stafford, VA
  • Harriet Hooke, Woodstock, NSW, Australia
  • Mark Keith, ex officio, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Kelly Kusch, Cincinnati, OH
  • Rick LaFleur, Arnoldsville, GA
  • Sarah Palumbo, Chandler, AZ
     

Outreach and Resources Committee

The members of the new Outreach and Resources Committee work to promote the National Latin Exam at area, regional, and state conferences and to create and distribute materials of interest to Latin teachers for success on the NLE and for the study of Latin in general.

  • Amy Bernard-Mason, Chair, Voorhees Township, NJ
  • Brad Savage, Chicago, IL
  • Brian Warren, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Kristin Webster, Potomac, MD