Lynn Thomason receives American Legion Award

Lincoln High School Latin teacher Lynn Thomason was named the Sioux Falls American Legion Educator of the Year at a ceremony on Sunday, March 12.
The annual award is presented as a part of the American Legion’s birthday party, where the Legion also recognizes local firefighters and police officers. 

Part of the criteria is that the educator is involved in some way with veterans, and Lynn wrote the following as a part of her submission.

I was born and reared in northeastern Pennsylvania.  I was graduated from Gettysburg College and have a master's degree in library science from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Before moving to Sioux Falls, we lived in Louisville, KY where I worked at the VA hospital for over 10 years.   I have been teaching Latin at Lincoln and O'Gorman High  Schools for 12 years. 

I am happy that we now say the Pledge of Allegiance in a room every day.  It is a common piece for students to learn in Latin!  In Latin classes  we often determine word etymologies.  "Vetus" is the Latin word for aged, experienced.  It gives us the  word "veteran."  It is wonderful for the students to make that connection and to appreciate the experience of our veterans.  Then I tell them about collecting coffee cans from the neighbors for us to send treats to my uncle who served in Vietnam. We were sending  him treats in boxes, but he told us that they were rather crushed upon arrival so we switched to coffee cans!

In Advanced Placement Latin we talk  about the concept of a "statesman."  My father, who served in the Army Field Band, often says that he wants to vote for a statesman again before he dies.  One of the qualities of a Roman statesman was that of military service.  We spend several months translating Caesar's De Bello Gallico.  Students are challenged to compare and contrast how the Romans treated their "veterans" with how we treat ours. Leadership and service are wonderful prompts for essays and discussions.

Lynn Thomason is also a finalist for the Dr John. W. Harris 2018 Teacher of the Year.