Tag Archives: latin

OHS Latin Program Hosts Regionals

By Amelia Chen

All students enrolled in Middle and Upper School Latin courses at Oak Hall School are participating in the Latin Regionals tournament hosted on campus Saturday, Jan. 28. 

All Latin students compete at regionals in the hopes to be chosen for the state tournament. This year, about 86 students from Oak Hall School will be competing. In total, there are usually around 150 students competing from all the schools in the tournament. This year those schools include Oak Hall, St. Francis, Cornerstone, and Forest High School.

“I’m excited for all of the new students who haven’t been to regionals to experience it and for some of the veterans to be able to kind of show the ropes to the new generation of Latin students,” said Zachary Mair, one of Oak Hall’s Latin teachers.

Students participate in academic testing, Certamen (a Jeopardy-style competition), racing events ala Olympics-style, wear costumes, and participate in art. Minus the testing and Certamen, OHS Latin Club officers organized the regional competition. 

Oak Hall’s Latin Program, the Junior Classical League (JCL), has been competing at regionals for decades and is considered one of the biggest classics programs in the region and quite possibly the state. 

Oak Hall regularly has success in the regionals, as Oak Hall is designed to prepare students on a national level. Mair also noted his hope for the turnout of the competition.

“I hope [this is] a starting line for looking toward states… I’m hoping that students [really] put in that effort and get the award that they deserve for the input that they gave,” he said.

Faculty Spotlight: Zachary Mair

By Elle Storoe

The 2020-21 school year has brought a lot of new faces to the Oak Hall faculty. One of the new faces is Zachary Mair, a Middle and Upper School Latin teacher.

From a youthful age, Mair knew he wanted to be a teacher. Ever since he tutored his peers in high school, Mair and his reputation for being known as a great teacher has been secure. “The main reason I wanted to [teach] is [that] it was something I was really passionate about,” he said. “I ended up really, really enjoying the ability to help many, many students, and I just haven’t stopped,” Mair elaborated. Before joining Oak Hall, Mair taught at Olympia High School in Windermere, Fla. He was first introduced to Oak Hall during his first high school Latin competition, which Oak Hall hosted, and has been drawn to the school ever since. “Oak Hall has always been this big name in the Latin community and the time I spent here with the competition, and everything I had with the [David and Generosa] Jackson’s beforehand, it drove me to go further and further to being able to work with the classics and students who are interested in it,” Mair explained. 

Upper School teacher Zachary Mair joined Oak Hall this school year and shares his love of Latin with his students

Mair grew up in Orlando and went to Winter Springs High School. Knowing he wanted to be a teacher, he attended the University of Central Florida and got a degree in teaching Latin. At Oak Hall, he teaches Latin B, Latin 2, Latin 3, and Latin 4. Mair loves teaching a language, as he enjoys teaching students for multiple years, helping them grow along with the language. He is also the head of the Oak Hall Junior Classical League (JCL). He loves Gainesville, but due to the restrictions of COVID-19, he hasn’t had the chance to explore what the town has to offer. He is excited for when he will be able to experience Gainesville more openly without having to worry about the virus. 

In his spare time, Mair loves to play board games, ranging from the most basic to the more obscure. His favorite being Citadels, a game where players acquire new roles with the purpose of obtaining gold and construct buildings, in turn, gaining points to win the game. Whenever Mair is not home, he loves to water ski and sail. He feels that if he were not a teacher, he would have worked on integration of technology into classroom settings, trying to develop programs and fluency for the teachers and students in the classrooms especially for Latin classes. Mair is very excited to be here, noting the school has already left a huge impression on him.

OHS Junior Classical League Wins Big at Regionals

By Madison Gaston

Every year in late January and early February, the Florida Junior Classical League (FJCL) holds a Regional Latin Forum in each region in Florida. On Feb. 1, Oak Hall School hosted its region’s Latin forum, which qualifies students for the State Latin Forum. Cornerstone and St. Francis Latin students participated in the local event.

Latin students from seventh through 12th grade spent a month preparing for the forum, which Oak Hall students have participated in for more than 20 years. The time spent completing practice exams and study sessions paid off for the Oak Hall Latin students, as the group took home 124 Academic Ribbons and 12 Academic “Best of Show” Awards. 

The Regional Latin Forum includes various special categories such as Greek and Latin language, history, and mythology. All competitors must complete an academic test that covers the aforementioned subjects. Students got the chance to compete in the Certamen portion of the forum, which is a kind of jeopardy game to test the students knowledge in various categories. In addition to Certamen, the Regional Latin Forum includes a service project, a creative competition, and Olympika. For this year’s service project, Oak Hall students painted kindness rocks to place around the community. For the creative competition, Oak Hall senior Michelle Li competed in Impromptu Art. The Olympika competition includes athletics like track and field, discus throwing, and tug-of-war. 

Oak Hall seniors Keegan Hogan, Emma Anderson, Ethan Dixon, Maya Harris, Evie Kelly, Michelle Li, Elizabeth Olcese, Esha Patel, Veronika Schmalfuss, Zhai Smith, Rushee Soni, Kumail Zaidi, Matthew Citty, and Colby Curtis will attend their last State Latin Forum in April. “Looking back on my years studying Latin, I realize how important and meaningful Regionals has been to me and I’m excited to see where all the younger kids take it,” Hogan said. Oak Hall’s Latin will continue studying for the State Latin Forum and strives to make the top three in April.