Classical Promise Scholarships: Previous Recipients

2021 Recipients

Krithik Seela is a sophomore at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida. He is fascinated by Classics and philosophy, and he has studied both subjects in and outside of school. He is particularly interested in combining his interest in Classics with his background in technology to make ancient languages and cultures more accessible to others. Krithik feels strongly that while many middle schools and high schools offer introductory Latin classes for students, they do not often create spaces for students to explore their interests outside of the classroom. The pandemic has made these opportunities even harder to come by, especially since most students have shifted to virtual learning. Using the Classical Promise Grant, Krithik plans to develop a virtual Latin Club where students who are passionate about Classics can explore their interests and engage with like-minded students. The platform will have many different features, such as fun facts about Classical languages, Greek and Roman myths, and resources for students that hope to develop their own, in-person clubs at their schools.

Ishika Bansal is a student at Jericho High School in Old Westbury, New York. She plans to create an after-school program for her local elementary school and middle school. Topics will include Latin in our modern world (such as medical terms and car brands), archaeology, ancient Roman games, and mythology. Ishika's goal is to make her two-month program very memorable for the students. She hopes that when they look back, the students will remember how much fun learning Classics was and may decide to take Latin in high school.

Samantha Darpel is the Enrichment Group Director at Covington Latin School in Covington, Kentucky. The Classical Promise Grant will help the school to offer extra enrichment classes for students in Grades K-8 during their spring session.

Marwan Mikdadi is a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He wanted to start a Latin literacy program specifically aimed at public middle school students since there are so few Latin programs within the public middle schools of the Baton Rouge area. His Latin literacy program at Westdale Middle School will teach Greek and Latin roots to students using fun games and activities. In addition, he will include Roman culture activities such as catapult and aqueduct making, Archimedan screw making, mythology games, and rota and board games. The drive of the program is to use Latin in a highly fun and hands-on way for younger students who do not have access to the subject in school. Marwan hopes the fun, positive experience will help students academically and also further their interest in Classics. He would also like to thank Dr. Dieter Gunkel of the University of Richmond for his assistance with the planning of this project.

Katherine Butts is a student at Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts. Her study of Classics began with a keen interest in mythology as an elementary school student. Now as a high school student, she has started a Classics Club at her school, read all the Ancient Greek literature she could get her hands on, and taken college courses in Greek Mythology, Ancient Warfare, and Archaeology. The Classical Promise Grant will help her to offer a program for children ages seven through ten. She hopes to help these students learn more about Greek and Roman mythology and introduce them to the broader context of history, literature, and culture through fun games and activities.

Vaishnavi Sankar is a student at Stevenson High School in Illinois. She will use her Classical Promise Grant to launch Marvelous Myths, a program for middle school students which will run weekly for six weeks. The program will be part of an after-school option at Waukegan Way to College, which provides year-round academic programs to students in Waukegan, a neighborhood in her area which does not offer Latin in schools. Through Marvelous Myths, Vaishnavi hopes to foster educational equality by ensuring that opportunities to study Classics are available to those outside of affluent school districts. She will teach students about Classics through the Greek and Roman myths. They will discuss stories of the Titans, the Olympians, and heroes such as Achilles and Heracles. Over the course of the program, students will also work together to put on a play, choosing a myth to dramatize and creating a script, costumes, and staging. They will perform the play during the final week of the program, giving them a chance to share their work with their families.

2020 Recipients

Kelly Kusch has taught Latin and Greek for 30 years. Currently, she is working on opening Covington Classical Academy in Covington, KY in August of 2021. Kelly used an Ascanius Classical Promise grant to purchase the books and flashcards for English From the Roots Up, Volumes 1 & 2. She will use the materials at twice monthly Latin Club meetings at the Cincinnati Squash Academy. The Cincinnati Squash Academy "uses the disciplined game of squash to help transform talented students in underserved communities into scholar-athletes, productive citizens, and future leaders with character on the path to and through college." Not only does it teach squash, it provides academic support and guidance through required after-school lessons and tutoring, all at no cost to the families. The students are enjoying hearing myths and learning Latin and Greek roots.

Gianna Turner is a student at Alpine Christian School in Alpine, Texas. This is the first year for her school's Latin Club. They are planning to put on a play that they will perform outside for their kindergarten through fourth grades. Gianna and her club will use their Classical Promise Grant to purchase materials for the play, including props and costumes.

Livia Hoffman is a junior at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois. She studies Homeric Greek, Classical Latin, and Egyptology and has a passion for the ancient world in general. She also volunteers at the National Hellenic Museum of Chicago. With her Classical Promise Grant, Livia plans on giving a series of thirty-minute interactive presentations, The Eureka Seminars, to elementary and middle school children over the summer. These lectures will cover topics to include: Troy and Homer [and mention of the founding legends of Rome, London, and Paris], Ptolemaic Egypt and Cleopatra, and Cuisine of the Classical World, based on the cookbook of Apicius.

*N.B. - Due to COVID-19, Livia has been unable to deliver her presentations to a live audience at the National Hellenic Museum but hopes to be able to do so by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. In the meantime, she has prepared her talks and made them available on YouTube.

Sara Wietbrock is a Latin teacher at Crown Point High School in Crown Point, Indiana. The Crown Point Latin Program plans to offer a summer enrichment program to local students in third through seventh grades. High school Latin students act as the teachers and introduce the younger students to Classical mythology, Roman culture, and conversational and Classical Latin. The program aims to expose students to Classics, to encourage connections between Latin and students' own language, and to prove to students and parents that Latin is alive and exciting!

*N.B. - Due to COVID-19, the Crown Point Latin Program's Latin Summer Camp has been postponed to Summer 2021.

2019 Recipients

Abigail Sullivan, a student of Ms. Maureen Haviland at Lexington High School, is creating a two-week summer program for middle school students in Lexington, Massachusetts. The program will be titled "Latina: Lingua Vitae" and will explore both the basic principles of the language as well as its emergence. Students will also study Greco-Roman culture and mythology. This program will be incorporated into Lexploration, a local summer day camp with one-week sessions.

Andrea Stehle is a Latin teacher at BASIS Shavano Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. For the past three years, her seventh grade students have conducted a mythology camp for younger students at their school. This year, they are conducting a monthly mythology program for elementary-school-aged children living at a long-term shelter called Magdalena House. Andrea and her students hope that bringing mythological stories and activities to the shelter will be a positive experience for the children living there.

Julia Byers, a Latin teacher at Eaglecrest High School in Centennial, Colorado, is working with three feeder middle schools to start an after-school Latin Club. Her high school students will design, prepare, and run the club for the middle school students each month using the Ascanius Roman Explorers activities. She looks forward to helping her own students learn leadership skills while the middle school students are sure to enjoy being taught by the older students.

Katie Close is a student of Mr. Eric Indgjerd at The Oaks Classical Christian Academy in Spokane, Washington. Inspired by her own "Grand Tour" to Greece and Italy this summer, Katie plans to create a Grand Tour experience for the 3rd grade beginning Latin class. She will make colorful passports for each student, also utilize maps and stamps, and then use them to "travel" through the ancient world of Chapter 1 in Hans Orberg's Classic text, "Lingua Latina". She will also use the passports and stamps to encourage speaking Latin in front of the class and in small groups. One of Katie's classes this year is "Senior Independent Study," which will give her the opportunity to student teach Latin at her school. She is excited to be a recipient of the Classical Promise Grant and hopes to get a lot out of the experience.

Sarah Shin of CHD Academy in Dublin, California, plans to establish an after-school Classics Club to supplement a Junior Classical League Club and reinforce language learning for a group of 24 middle school students. Her goal is to show students that learning Latin can be fun and engaging, by focusing on hands-on activities, games, and interactive workshops covering ancient geography, classical mythology, Roman civilization, daily life, and history, as well as Latin grammar and vocabulary. Her hope is that, as a result, the middle school students might choose to continue learning Latin at the high school level and maybe even at college.

Varsha Bansal is creating a program at Cantiague Elementary School and Jericho Middle School (Jericho, New York) in which he will spark students' excitement about Greek and Roman culture through creative workshops and games focusing on subjects such as geography, the ancient Olympics, and Roman architecture.

Julia Paloma Manso will organize a "Crazy for the Classics" series of classes about Greek and Roman history, mythology, language, and culture at her local library in San Antonio, Texas. The classes, designed for students eight to twelve years old, will place an emphasis on the relationship between the Greek and Roman civilizations and on the Greeks' influence on the Romans.

David Tapper will introduce a workshop at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, Illinois, focusing on ancient pottery as a principal means of understanding daily life and special events in the ancient world. In his 90 minute program, students aged nine to fourteen will learn about the role and significance of pottery decoration in ancient Greco-Roman civilization, and about Greek vocabulary for specific types of vessels.

Sophie Pelzer will teach elementary school students at the local library or at a homeless shelter in Yarrow Point, Washington, about Greco-Roman mythology. In her course, she will first provide students with a general overview of the Greek gods and goddesses, with an emphasis on the Olympians, and then focus on the stories of Hercules and Odysseus.

Alex Annenberg is teaching a series of four lessons on the Latin language and Roman culture to middle school-aged homeschooled students in Alford, Massachusetts. In the two lessons dedicated to Latin, students will learn noun/verb agreement, case endings and their basic uses, and verb conjugation, and in the two lessons on Roman culture, students will learn about topics including Roman entertainment, social structure, and politicians, and about the similarities between Roman and contemporary culture.

2018 Recipient
Calvin Lucido is running an after-school exploration of mythology and culture for 2nd-4th graders at Flint Hill's lower school. Students will learn about Greco-Roman mythology and Roman culture through storytelling, discussions, and hands-on activities.

2017 Recipient
Shaan Bhandarkar founded Mission TechConnect and its Classics-dedicated workshop program AuxFer. Through this initiative, Shaan wishes to share his enthusiasm for Latin with the next generation of Classics admirers by coordinating multiple interactive workshops delving into Roman culture and introductory Latin grammar.

2015 Recipient
Prathik Naidu (Alexandria, VA) is founder of The Classics Project, and is developing multiple week-long programs to help young students explore topics ranging from mythology to Roman military.

2013 Recipient
Jackson Skeen (Virginia Beach, VA) conducted a four-week program for students after school. His activities involved using the Latin Language, crafts, a mythology competition, and Roman feast.

2012 Recipients
The Latin IV class at Milton High School (Milton, MA) staged seven plays in Latin and English based on Phaedrus' Fabulae for the fifth grade class at a local elementary school.

Alexia Hernandez (Deerfield Academy, Weybridge, VT) designed Academia Latina, a two-week summer program for students in grades 1-6 to explore Classical mythology and basics of the Latin Language. The program features arts and crafts, as well as modern comparisons for mythological stories. "I came. I saw. I learned."

2011 Recipient
Ann Evans and fellow students at St. Mary's Academy (Raleigh, NC), under the direction of Ms. Elizabeth Olson, conducted a six-week after-school program with fourth and fifth grade students at a local elementary school. Together, they explored the Latin Language, as well as mythology, culture, art, and architecture through activities, crafts, and projects.

2010 Recipients
The 8th grade Latin class at St. John's Episcopal in Laurel, Maryland. Students created a set of activities and artifacts to help teach preK-5th grade classes about the Roman culture and mythology. The activities will be passed down from one Latin class to the next, so young students at St. John's will be able to learn about the Classics for several years.

Jacob Glick is a student of Dr. Pontone in Great Neck, NY. Jacob continued his Latin program's successful eight-week after-school Latin program at an elementary school in his hometown.

Katherine Williams is a student of Mrs. Arble at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. Katherine developed and taught a six-week program for elementary school students in a gifted and talented program in the Hampton Roads area. They explored the Latin language, Roman culture, and classical mythology. Katherine served on the faculty of LatinSummer Williamsburg in 2009.

2009 Recipients
Brandon Shih is a student of Dr. Pontone in Great Neck, NY. Brandon plans to use his scholarship to continue an eight-week after-school Latin program at an elementary school in his hometown.

Latin IV and V classes at Moultonborough Academy, NH. They staged an ancient Roman comedy, Curculio, to entertain and educate children in grades five and six. The scholarship was used for publicity, costumes, scenery, and props. With this program, the students helped children to recognize the impact that the Romans have had on our modern world.

2008 Recipients
Chris Leung is a student of Dr. Pontone in New York. He continued the foundation that the previous year's recepient had established. Chris used the scholarship to obtain the necessary materials to continue running an after school enrichment program at a local elementary school in his hometown.

Brian Miranda is also a student of Dr. Pontone at Great Neck South High School in New York. Brian used the scholarship to continue an after school Latin program at his local elementary school. He introduced fifth grade students to Latin and Classical Mythology. By the end of his eight-week program, many of the students were planning to pursue Latin in middle school.

2007 Recipient
Stephen Miranda, a top performing student from Long Island, developed an eight week curriculum Lingua Latina Magna Est for 5th graders at three local elementary schools. Stephen's aim was to increase interest in the Latin programs available at the middle and high school levels in his hometown. His efforts were so well received that these schools decided to instate his curriculum in an annually recurring enrichment program. He has studied both Latin and Greek from Dr. Anthony Pontone.

2006 Recipient
Rachel Ziegler, a student of Ms. Judy Grebe in Indiana, was the first in the history of Ascanius to have received the Classical Promise Scholarship. Rachel used the scholarship to help obtain the neccessary materials for her to introduce middle school students to Greco-Roman literature, history and mythology as she assisted in a 7th grade English class during the 2006 scholastic year.