the Classical Association of Connecticut recognizes with its Distinguished Service Award a member of the profession who has greatly contributed to the study and teaching of the Classics in Connecticut. An engraved silver bowl is presented to the award recipient at ClassConn's Annual Meeting in October.
ClassConn Distinguished Service Award 2014
I am honored to be able to present the Distinguished Service Award to this year’s recipient. I have known the recipient for almost three decades. We attended the University of Massachusetts together as undergraduates where we met in Gil Lawall’s class on Petronius. After graduating, the recipient went on to receive an M.Ed from Boston College before taking a job as a Latin teacher in Sharon, MA. We periodically ran into one another at CANE Annual Meetings and so it was that I learned the recipient was looking to move to CT to be closer to family at the same time as my district was looking for a second Latin teacher. I was really happy that the recipient decided to take the job and even more delighted to see the skill and enthusiasm that the recipient brought to the department. It was truly rewarding to have a colleague who shared the values of teaching that I had and, from the start, we really clicked in the way we taught. As we watched the department grow from two to three and then four and then five teachers, the recipient was a leading figure, guiding the design of our curriculum to a coherent whole. Her vision for the department has led us away from taking packaged tours to the establishment of an ongoing exchange with a sister school in Rome, the Liceo Classico Aristofane. In fact, 24 Italian students and two teachers who were participating in homestays just returned to Rome on Thursday after two action packed weeks. And the recipient will, in turn, be leading a group of our students to Rome to stay with host families in April for a full on cultural and linguistic immersion in Italy.
In our school, the recipient constantly has reached out to colleagues to offer support and expertise and to students as a teacher, mentor, and nurturer. Keenly aware of the challenges of the disenfranchised and, as a champion of social justice, the recipient was often the voice of the silent, speaking up when others ignored them or turned their backs. Her gentle strength has upheld student, colleague, and friend on numerous occasions. Her unwavering commitment to the truth and what is right has inspired many of us to be better than we thought we could be.
Always a dedicated professional, she has been an active member of the school community, serving on numerous committees, often as the sole voice of reason. She has remained active in CANE serving on both the membership committee and as the Coordinator of Educational Programs. She joined the Executive committee of ClassConn soon after moving to CT and has been an integral part of ClassConn ever since. For years, she was the face of CT State Latin Day, which she ran as the Chair after Nancy Lister, requiescat in pace.
While she is short in stature, she looms large in presence and in our minds. I would advise against making her angry as she is a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and has been known to take down considerably larger men who were her opponents.
Since her favorite Roman author is Vergil (spelled with an e, not an i), we have chosen a passage from Book I of the Aeneid to be inscribed on the bowl she will receive. It reads,
Di tibi, si qua pios respectant numina, si quid
Usquam iustitiae est et mens sibi conscia recti,
Praemia digna ferant.
"May the gods-
And surely there are powers that care for goodness,
Surely somewhere justice counts - may they
And your own consciousness of acting well
Reward you as they should." (Fitzgerald)
Plaudite, quaeso, for this year’s recipient, Stephany Pascetta.