CCA Teacher of the Year Award

The Colorado Classics Association annually awards the Teacher of the Year to a K-12 educator from the state who has demonstrated sustained and distinguished teaching in the field of Classics, and service to CCA and the broader Classics profession.

All materials are due January 1 by e-mail. All candidates must be nominated. The award and a $100 prize are given out at the CCA’s spring meeting. Nominations remain active for three years.

Here is the nomination form:

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The 2023 winner is Karen Karppinen of Lone Pine Classical School in Fort Collins.

Karen is a Fort Collins-based educator who in 2003 founded Lone Pine Classical School, an online school offering Latin courses from level 1 through AP to homeschool students across the country. For 15 years she served as Lone Pine’s director, GT and STEM coordinator, and teacher of Latin, math, and science. She currently serves as the GT coordinator at Colorado Early Colleges in Fort Collins. Karen maintains high expectations for her students’ learning in both virtual and face-to-face classroom environments. She is organized and precise, but also warm and compassionate, encouraging her students to do their best work. Karen’s National Latin Exam results are a testament to her students’ high level of achievement: nearly 500 National Latin Exams taken, with 92% earning awards, and most of these gold or silver medals. Karen has been a dedicated and innovative leader of the Colorado Junior Classical League (CoJCL) for many years, serving as a co-chair from 2011 to 2018, and again starting in 2021. K-12 Latin teachers in Colorado are grateful to her for modernizing the convention registration process and for maintaining a commitment to the students who benefit from JCL, even under difficult circumstances during the Covid pandemic.

Congratulations Karen!


Past winners of the award include:

2021 – Pierre Habel (D’Evelyn Junior/High School in Lakewood / Denver)

Pierre has taught Latin at D’Evelyn since 1997, where his students have had tremendous success on the National and AP Latin exams. Pierre is a passionate and creative teacher, invested in innovative approaches like CI (Comprehensible Input) and Rassias Method pedagogy, and draws from his experience with spoken Latin gained as a frequent participant in Biduum Coloratanum. Outside of the classroom, Pierre has been a passionate advocate for Classics in Colorado for over two decades. In the late 1990s and 2000s, Pierre was a leading force in the Colorado Junior Classical League (CoJCL), serving two terms as Co-Chair and leading Colorado’s delegation to the National JCL convention five times. Colleagues fondly recall his advice and encouragement when starting CoJCL chapters at their own schools. Incredibly, after serving as Co-President of the Colorado Classics Association (2014-16), Pierre was willing to return as both Vice President (2018-20) and, currently, Secretary. In 2019 he also wrote the invaluable guide “Employment and Licensure in Colorado for Latin Teachers,” featured on the CCA’s website. This award is only the most recent in a string of distinctions that Pierre has received for his teaching, beginning with a Boettcher Foundation Teacher Recognition Award in 2001.

2020 – Frank Gumerlock (Holy Family High School in Broomfield)

Frank has been teaching Latin since 1995 and at his current school since 2003. A teacher known for combining a contagious enthusiasm for Latin with results-oriented academic rigor, Frank has overseen a tripling of enrollments, as he did in his previous position at Doherty High School (Colorado Springs). Frank is a model of engaged teaching, keeping Latin visible at his school by encouraging his students to perform Latin-language cheers at events, overseeing engaging video projects, and making recitation a key element of his classes. He is also an invaluable member of the greater Colorado Classics community, having served three times as an officer of the CCA and bringing a team for over twenty years to compete in certamen at the CJCL convention, an organization for which he was the co-chair from 2014-2018. An active scholar (St. Louis University Ph.D 2004), 2019 saw the release of Frank’s latest contribution to the Commentary Series of the Teaching Association for Medieval Studies (TEAMS): a volume containing translations of early ninth-century works on the Book of Revelation by Theodulf of Orleans and Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel, two theological advisers to Charlemagne.

2019 – Amy Rosevear (Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village)

Amy has built up her school’s Latin program from a single part-time instructor to a full- and part-time position, and she even added AP Latin. She has, inter multa alia, been a CCA officer twice, is active in CJCL, serves on the ACL’s Board of Governors, and has won CAMWS’s Mason Award. One example of her innovative teaching is having AP students conduct a mock trial of Julius Caesar for his imperialist activities in Gaul while they read de Bello Gallico.

Amy also received a 2019 Award for Excellence in Precollegiate Teaching from the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), which is only granted to three outstanding teachers of Latin, Greek or Classics at the K-12 level in the United States or Canada every year. Read the SCS’s statement here.

2017 – James Bleys Kueck

Classical Academy High School, Colorado Springs

2016 – Tim Smith

Ridgeview Classical School, Fort Collins

2015- Lynn LiCalsi (Fairview High School in Boulder)

Lynn has gone on to receive a 2020 Award for Excellence in Precollegiate Teaching from the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), which is only granted to three outstanding teachers of Latin, Greek or Classics at the K-12 level in the United States or Canada every year. Read  the SCS’s statement here.

Additionally, Lynn was awarded the 2019 Kraft Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS). Read CAMWS’s statement here.

2014 – Jim Broderick King

Regis Jesuit High School, Denver