Latin Teacher Christina Alvarez Wins Fellowship - Set to Walk Antonine Wall
History and Latin teacher Christina Alvarez has been selected to receive the 2019 Coffin Fellowship, awarded by the Society for Classical Studies. The Fellowship was established in 2004 by the friends and students of David and Rosemary Coffin to honor the skill, devotion, learning, and kindness with which they educated students at Phillips Exeter Academy for more than thirty years.
The Fellowship is intended to recognize secondary school teachers of Greek or Latin who are as dedicated to their students as the Coffins themselves by giving them the opportunity to enrich their teaching and their lives through direct acquaintance with the classical world. It supports study in classical lands.
Ms. Alvarez and fellow Bosque Latin teacher, Dr. John Roth, will use the Fellowship award to help fund a trip the Latin Department will take this summer to walk the entirety (80 miles) of the Antonine Wall in Scotland. The two are veteran teachers with over 50 years of Classics teaching experience between them.
“I am delighted that the experiential, immersive approach of our Bosque School Latin program is being recognized by such a long-established and prestigious organization as the Society for Classical Studies,” said Ms. Alvarez. “I read recently that the Kiplinger organization listed Classical Studies as one of the most useful college majors, and I think part of the reason for this recognition is that Classical Studies prepares students for the unprecedented complexity of the world into which they are maturing,” she added.
In her Fellowship application, Ms. Alvarez expressed her passion for connecting Classical Studies with the wider, current world: “There is rarely a day in my Latin class where we don’t connect something we are studying with the issues and ideas young people confront today...The United States is currently agonizing over the use and meaning of a society building walls to protect itself. There is much heat and little light being generated about these issues, and the Latin Department and Bosque School would like to use our deep exploration of the Roman Empire’s wall-building to help our students make informed decisions about wall-building in 2019.”
Ms. Alvarez said she expects that the experiences and insights from their trek will both immediately inform the content of their courses and also profoundly shape an inspired context for their teaching. “I'm super grateful that the Bosque Latin Department will have the chance to model for our students the kind of inquiry-based, hands-on approach we believe leads to the deepest learning.”