The 2017-2018 school year has been quite memorable for Loy Norrix, for both its ups and downs, but for the Loy Norrix Latin classes, the year is coming to a strong close. The National Latin Exams have been wrapped up, students are doing superb on their work, and most importantly, students are having fun and making memories, some sure to last awhile.
A huge contributor to these great times and important lessons is our very own Latin teacher, Magistra (Latin for teacher) Barbara Felkel, who has confirmed that she plans to retire at the end of this school year.
After 38 years of hard work to help the Loy Norrix community expand students minds to the Latin, English and other Romance languages, and their hearts to each other, it is finally time to say goodbye to a resident person of history in our school.
Magistra Felkel has always shown her ability to teach in a friendly environment strongly, and tries her hardest to help those who don’t understand the material. She is always trying to help those who didn’t quite understand the instructions or are stuck on a piece of the work, whether that be by staying to help students after school or offering one-on-one help and a place to hang out at lunch.
“She’s really accessible and a helpful person at our school,” said sophomore Montana Thommes, who has had Felkel as a teacher for two years now.
Thommes isn’t the only student of Felkel that feels this way. Many students find her to be a huge impact on them and a great teacher.
“She’s a dedicated teacher,” said sophomore Akkadian Jackson, who has had Felkel for two years. “She does a very good job at teaching kids Latin.”
“She’s probably the most intense teacher I’ve ever had,” said junior Will Keller, “She is incredibly devoted to the classes she teaches.”
Over the years, students of Felkel have shown how much they’ve learned from her through participation in the National Latin Exam, an exam given in the first and third trimesters that grades students on their knowledge of the Latin language, Roman history and geography and more. A total of 28 students, 20 Latin II students and 8 Latin III students, took the National Latin Exam this year.
Out of these 28 students, 9 received gold medals, 11 received silver medals, and 8 received certificate awards.
This is a special occasion: not once in Loy Norrix history, has every student who has taken the exam earned a prize on the National Latin Exam. There was even a perfect paper belonging to Jackson.
“It wasn’t too hard, but it was still challenging,” said Jackson. “I was very prepared because Magistra had prepared a few practice tests from earlier years to show what it was like.”
“We get a perfect paper about once every five years, so it’s quite rare,” said Felkel.
Over the years, the students of Latin haven’t been the only ones learning. Magistra Felkel has learned many things from her students, some that have stuck with her throughout her teaching career.
“It’s the questions asked by the kids that keeps us teachers going,” said Felkel.
Unfortunately for Loy Norrix, this is the last year Felkel plans to keep teaching. She will retire at the end of this school year, with 38 years of experience under her belt at Norrix. As of this moment, there is no definite replacement to take on the Norrix Latin program, yet Felkel has great confidence in KPS to find a replacement just as good as her to continue the Latin legacy.
“She’s laid such a strong foundation for the program that as long as we get a decent teacher, the program will continue to be strong,” said Keller.
“I’m gonna miss Magistra Felkel. She’s my absolute favorite teacher,” said Thommes.
When asked how she wanted to be remembered by the generations of students she has taught at Norrix, she only had one thing to say.
“I want to be remembered as someone who had a mission and fulfilled it; of sharing the Latin language with kids.”
National Latin Exam Scores:
LEVEL III : Gold: Grace Marshall
Silver: Tess Cowles, Will Keller, Aidan Lane, Cameron Phillips, Carter Eisenbach
Certificates: Emma Van Houten, Gavin Rutherford
LEVEL II: Gold: Akkadian Jackson [PERFECT PAPER], Brooklyn Moore, Berkley Cox, Miko Kadaluka, Corey Peterman, Montana Thommes, Cassandra Kipp, Carly Loken
Silver: Miranda Goodison, Joseph Ridenour, Isabella Wikle, Kayanna Nordmark, Julius Robinson, Sawyer Spink
Certificates: Dakota Lambert, Brandon Schnurr, Zoe Shanahan, Joseph Mitchell, Jennifer Peterson, Devon Gross