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Spotlight On: Mr. Moro

For our (real) April Spotlight, Feroze Sibdhanny profiles the sole HHS Latin teacher: Mr. Moro!

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As you walk in and take your seat in Room 309, the question comes at you: “Quid Agis?” For those who don’t know Latin, the question is “how are you doing?” and the person asking is Mr. Jon Moro, the Holyoke High Latin teacher.

There are many various answers that can be given, including,“bene” (well), “optime” (great), “male” (bad), “nescio” (I don’t know). Mr. Moro does “Quid Agis” to get know his students on a personal level and to remind students that Latin was once a living language.

Mr. Jon Moro was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts and attended Deerfield Academy for his high school years and went on to College of the Holy Cross and UMass Amherst after high school. Moro was drawn to Latin due to an introductory language class he took while in the eighth grade. Moro really enjoyed learning about the language, history, and culture of the Romans.

In 2004, Moro heard about an opening for a Latin teacher at Holyoke High was encouraged to apply by a colleague. Moro reflects on Holyoke as having a “great tradition of excellent Latin teachers,” a tradition that many students today would say continues. Moro is currently the only teacher of Latin at Holyoke High.

Moro engages his Latin class - just another day in Room NUMBER.

Moro engages his Latin class – just another day in Room 309.

“I think he’s an awesome teacher,” says Sarah Healy ’17, “he makes every class engaging. He has a lot of unique ways of teaching us that make it easier to pay attention and understand.”

Moro thinks that effective teachers constantly reflect on their teaching and make changes as needed. He always tries to be honest about what works and does what does not work, and make necessary changes.

Any former student of Mr. Moro knows about Classics Day: a contest held yearly at the College of the Holy Cross where students from schools around New England compete to show their knowledge on Latin grammar, Roman and Greek mythology, Roman history, and Roman life. Moro calls watching his student compete and earn trophies at Classics Day is the greatest part of his teaching career.

Although Latin may appear to be a less than exciting subject, Moro always manages to make it engaging. “He tries to make learning Latin as painless as possible,” says Cameron LaChapelle ’17, “and [he] does a great job of making every class fun, one way or another.”

Mr. Moro hopes to have many more productive years as a Latin teacher – and for the benefit of Holyoke students, let’s hope he does!

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