Thornton Academy students have won first, second and third prize for the state of Maine in the Classical Association of New England (CANE) student writing contest. All three students have been entered into the next level of competition with students from throughout New England and will find out in February if they have placed. The topic of the contest was imagining how the ancient Roman philosopher and scientist Lucretius would respond to a 2017 NASA discovery of exoplanets that have characteristics necessary to support life.
Hannah Faucher '18 (3rd), Henry Sylvester '19 (1st), and Jackson Fuller '18 (2nd) placed in the top three in the Classical Association of New England's student writing competition for Maine.
Junior Henry Sylvester placed first with an essay comparing the philosophers Lucretius and Ptolemy. Senior Jackson Fuller finished in second place with a poem told from Lucretius’s point of view. Third place went to senior Hannah Faucher for an essay analyzing humanity’s desire to find others in the universe and not feel alone.
All three students are in Sally Cody’s Latin III / IV class. Mrs. Cody has been teaching Latin at Thornton Academy for 41 years but still has enthusiasm for the project-based learning that she does in her classes. She values how her student connect the ancient world to their emotions and experiences today.
“Even though I say I teach Latin, it’s really a time period and my students have a whole world to experience. I get to time travel with them,” Cody says.
Latin teacher Sally Cody works with a student in a Latin I class.
Mrs. Cody was only able to submit three papers to the CANE writing contest, so the fact that all three of her students placed in the top three is remarkable. In the past, Thornton Academy students have placed in the top in New England, and Cody is hopeful that one of these students will as well.
“Studying Latin is fun. It can give you a break from the normal routine. By understanding the foundation of Latin, I can go on to study other languages,” says Fuller.
In addition to Latin, Thornton Academy offers classes in Ancient Greek, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.