Latin teacher Mindy Wolfrom leaves her mark


David Seo

Besides teaching Latin and Ancient Greek, Mindy Wolfrom has also advised the Junior Classical League (JCL) as well as Latin and Greek Club. She will teach at the Taipei American School next fall.

Sophia Lima, Staff Writer

Upper School Latin teacher Mindy Wolfrom will be deciphering street signs and grocery store labels in Chinese rather than English next year.

After six years of teaching Latin II, Latin III, AP Latin and Ancient Greek, Wolfrom will be moving to Taipei, Taiwan, where she will teach at the Taipei American School starting next fall.

At the Taipei American School, which has 2,300 students, Wolfrom will teach Latin and Greek in the middle school and a ninth grade English class that covers the Iliad and the Odyssey.

As she adjusts to the change of pace between teaching high school and middle school, Wolfrom will also be adjusting to a foreign city.

“I’m going to start learning Chinese and learning the new culture, and I am excited to experience being in a different country,” Wolfrom said.

She has been memorizing the 13-hour time difference between the U.S. and Taipei so that she can figure out when to talk to everyone in the U.S.

Before St. John’s, Wolfrom taught Latin and philosophy at a public school in Haverhill, Massachusetts for two years.

After developing a passion for Greek her freshman year of college, Wolfrom decided to learn Latin. Wolfrom loves Latin and Greek because she is always learning something new about the history and culture, which in turn helps her teach.

As the only Latin teacher in the Upper School, Wolfrom faces a challenge. She looks to her fellow foreign language teachers for lesson plan ideas and collaboration.

“Ms. Wolfrom has a fun approach to learning Latin and incorporates a lot of fun games in class,” freshman Fleming Kelliher said. “She is also very encouraging and approachable whenever I need help.”

Sharing resources is easy for groups of teachers that teach the same subject. As an army of one, Wolfrom has built a network by meeting many Latin teachers in and outside of Houston.

Although being the only Upper School Latin teacher is a lot of work, the job has its perks because Wolfrom has much more freedom with her lesson plans.

Wolfrom’s position as the only Latin teacher also means that she teaches some students for their entire high school career. Senior Inaara Malick has bonded with Wolfrom after being her student for four years.

I’m glad Ms. Wolfrom is leaving when I’m leaving because I can’t imagine not seeing her every day,” Malick said. “She loves Latin and Greek so much and that really shows when she teaches.”

Wolfrom took initiative to improve the Latin and Greek programs since her earliest years at St. John’s. She proposed adding a Greek unit to the Latin curriculum before making Ancient Greek a class during her second year of teaching.

Wolfrom has also been involved with the Junior Classical League (JCL) as well as Latin and Greek Club. She has served as an adviser, has spoken at lunchtime Philosophy Club meetings and has even helped run the scoreboard for athletic events, including field hockey, basketball, lacrosse and track.

Wolfrom’s current freshman advisory will be sad to see her go.

“I am sad that Ms. Wolfrom is leaving, but she has been an amazing advisor, and I am happy for her,” freshman Mckenna Grabowski said.

Wolfrom has always wanted to live internationally, and although she is open to living on different continents, she had always envisioned herself in places like Greece or Italy.

“Taiwan chose me,” Wolfrom said. “Wanting an international opportunity coupled with kind of a rare subject area meant that when this opportunity showed up, I couldn’t really be picky in terms of the country.”

Wolfrom is glad that she is coming to Taiwan with eight years of teaching experience so that she will not have to struggle with issues she faced early on as a teacher.

“I’m hoping to just experience a new culture and see what I’m made of because I’m all about emotional growth and learning resilience,” Wolfrom said.

Although this new experience excites her, Wolfrom is sad to leave her support group in the U.S. behind.

“I’ll definitely miss all my students and colleagues. That has been the best part of St. John’s,” Wolfrom said.