Middle School teacher Heidy Arts writes pieces of interest about member of the EAUFSD staff, and has offered to share her vignettes with readers of The Challenger.Focus on Latin teacher Brian Serwicki:What has impacted you the most with regard to your students?
I am very fortunate to work in East Aurora, with such a creative, energetic, and capable staff. My students are bright and involved, their interests vary widely and they keep me sharp and challenge me every day to be on top of my game. I teach a variety of grade levels so I get to watch students grow up from middle school, and I meet parents who are supportive, involved, and willing to communicate.
To whom would you recommend your class?
There is something for everyone in Latin. I ask my students at the beginning of every year what they are looking to gain from the class and the responses vary: some hope to improve SAT scores, some to improve their mastery of English, some take it because they have a special interest in a particular topic, and some because their friends signed up for the class. I believe all of these students can take from the class what they were looking for and more. Latin is not an easy subject, but I believe anyone can be successful.
Will you talk a little bit about the trip you are organizing to Rome for the summer of 2011?
This past summer, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to Italy for our honeymoon. It was the first time I had ever traveled to Europe. What an unforgettable experience! To stand on the steps of the Colosseum, to walk the streets of Pompeii—to realize that beneath your feet there once stood men and women who lived and died under the reign of the Caesars, who with their own eyes once gazed upon the same statues, mosaics, and frescoes which are now yours to view.
I wanted to provide my students with the same opportunity. My students have devoted years to studying Pompeii and Rome. So given the chance to have my students actually walk the streets of Pompeii, to enter Roman temples, and to sit in Roman theaters and senate houses, I of course seized it. With the guidance of teachers at East Aurora who have done this type of thing before, and with recommendations from Latin teachers in neighboring districts, I set up a trip to Rome, which includes guided tours of the Vatican, the Forum, and the Colosseum. We will also spend a whole day in Pompeii, a night in Sorrento, and a visit to Capri. It is my hope that students will be as overwhelmed as I was at the sights, the food, and the overall experience. When they see something for the first time, I want them to turn to their parents or their friends and explain to them what they have learned. I am looking forward to the opportunity of teaching students more about what they will see in and around the city of Rome. Because this trip has no official connection to the district, the invitation to join us is open to students and their parents, although I do reserve the right to take people who will act responsibly. Contact me at: email@example.com for more information if you are interested.
Are you really running a marathon October 10th in Chicago?
Yes, and I would like to thank all of the faculty, staff, and administration who donated to the Komen for the Cure drive for the Chicago marathon. East Aurora Schools has to be one of the most giving and supportive work places in the area. We have been able to raise over $1,700.00 for this cause. Check out the website at: http://www.active.com/donate/Chicago10/BSerwic for details. I am running this marathon for my grandmother, who suffered from breast cancer, and my father who has fought two bouts now with lung cancer. My father-in-law, Thomas Foels, and my good friends Dawn and Mike Odrzywolski who have run and biked for causes such as this one, have been the driving forces behind me doing this. Thank you to them and to everyone at East Aurora for your inspiration.
Note: Brian Serwicki completed the 26.2 mile Chicago Marathon on October 10 in 3 hours and 9 minutes. Averaging slightly over 7 minutes/mile over the course of the race, he was the fastest WNY runner by over 30 minutes! Brain came in 1146 place out of the 35,763 runners who finished and the 49,170 runners overall.