Welcome to Sarah Landis, History and Latin Teacher

Michael Gross



When walking through the hallways during the first few days of the school year, students often pass by new faculty members while whispering to their friends, “Who is that?” For this upcoming school year, there will be no more confusion as to who the new faculty members are, as the Forum has that covered. This article’s featured new teacher is Global Cities and Latin teacher Sarah Landis. In addition to her most recent teaching experience at the Mt. Carmel Academy, an all-girls school in New Orleans, Ms. Landis also spent a year on the faculty at the University of North Carolina, near her hometown, Durham. She is no stranger to a community like the Latin School of Chicago, as her own high school had many similarities in terms of size, teaching philosophy, and block schedule. She credits many of her high school teachers with having influenced her style of instruction. Ensuring that her students are intrigued by and enjoy the material is one of her priorities, as she said, “I try to refrain from doing too many lectures, and lean towards more interactive activities – I like to call it ‘game-ification.’” When asked exactly what “game-ification” is, she explained that it is an essential part in making her classes interactive and fun: creating games out of the material allows the students to better relate to and understand the subject matter.

   Ms. Landis has always been very passionate about the Latin language and its classical studies. While at Mt. Carmel, she played a leadership role in several Latin clubs and looks forward to doing the same at Latin. Many people question why Latin as a language is still studied, considering that it has not been spoken for thousands of years. To this, her response was, “Latin is fascinating because it is dead but it is not dead.” While it is not currently spoken, Latin continues to have a lasting influence in today’s world – the language never truly died, it merely evolved into the modern Romance languages. While many schools include Latin in their language curriculum, few offer the depth of study comparable to that of the Latin School. In fact, our school was founded 125 years ago (in case you did not know) by a group a parents intending to offer students a rigorous education in the classical studies of Greek and Latin languages – hence the name “Latin School.”

      Along with Latin, Ms. Landis will also be teaching Global Cities this year. As a student, she has always had a strong interest in History and has taught various history classes for the past three years at Mt. Carmel. Although the Latin School has a unique approach to teaching Global History, her in depth knowledge and passion for the subject will ensure a smooth transition to the curriculum.

Now that you are well informed regarding all the basic background information, you may wonder what truly sets her apart from the other talented faculty members at Latin. The Forum research team was able to uncover a few interesting facts about her wardrobe and culinary tastes. Whereas the majority of the people at Latin buy their clothes from a retail store or online, Ms. Landis instead sews many of her outfits.   What is her favorite food to make at home, you might ask? She has a special soup dish where she mixes a can of pumpkin soup, a can of black beans, and a can of salsa. She says, “It’s quick, easy, and tastes good,” which is not hard to believe.

 While many students might be dreading the long-awaited start on Monday, Ms. Landis is eager to begin her work in the classroom. As we spoke, she was sitting on the edge of her seat, conveying her excitement through her enthusiastic tone. Entering the school year, most of us are returning to a familiar place with familiar people. Although she has been a teacher for many years, the Latin School will be a new and different environment.  When asked about her goals for the year, she expressed her desire to “build a community in all of her classrooms.” She has successfully done that at previous schools and wishes to do the same thing here at Latin. I hope this article helped you get to know one of the additions to our incredible faculty, and please join me in welcoming Ms. Landis to our beloved Latin community!