Carpe diem, Ms. Gerard. No, it doesn't exactly apply, but they are the most inspirational latin words I know.

Carpe diem, Ms. Gerard. No, it doesn’t exactly apply, but those are the most inspirational Latin words I know.

Latin, a dead language? It seems not.

According to an article (a couple years ago) in the New York Times, there has been a modern resurgence of the once rejected as outdated language.

Lake Highlands resident Donna Gerard, a Latin teacher at Providence School in Preston Hollow, recently was surprised to learn that she won the American Classic League’s Merita Award, recognizing “sustained and distinguished service to the Classics profession.”

Gerard, who spent some of her thirty-plus year teaching career in the Richardson ISD, also moonlighted as a Latin tutor to students from Providence, where she took a full-time job in 2004.

The Merita is a prestigious award, and because Gerard’s daughter, also a Latin teacher, hid the nomination from Mom, Gerard only learned of the honor when the final winners were announced. The family traveled to Memphis for the awards ceremony and ACL conference.

“Latin has been my life work, so it is incredibly rewarding and very nice to hear your accolade read publicly,” Gerard says.

At the conference, a former student approached Gerard and told her she had been inspired by her and aspired to be just like her.

Over the years, Gerard has won many awards for teaching and contributions to Latin programs. According to the aforementioned Times article, experts say the study of Latin, while not used very often, builds vocabulary and grammar for higher SAT scores, appeals to college admissions officers as a sign of critical-thinking skills and fosters true intellectual passion, he said.

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