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Higgins Precollegiate Citation

One of the two winners of the 2013 American Philological Association Pre-Collegiate Teaching Award is Mr. John Higgins, teacher of Latin, Greek, and Classical Studies at The Gilbert School in Winsted, Connecticut.

John Higgins earned a B. A. in Classics from Fordham University and the M. Litt. in Classics from Trinity College, Dublin. He has also attended summer sessions at the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  Mr. Higgins is currently working on a Ph.D. in History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where his fields are Early Irish History, Medieval History, and Late Antiquity.

Since 1980, Mr. Higgins has taught Latin and Greek at The Gilbert School.  Starting with limited offerings of Latin I and Latin II, he has built a four-year program that included at one time the school’s only AP course.  Winning the Edward Phinney Fellowship in 2000, Mr. Higgins, who had begun teaching Greek in the 1990s with only one student, has built a full four-year sequence in Greek.  He has also established a Classical Studies sequence for all students at his school.  He regularly takes student groups to Italy and Greece, and he has produced with his students three plays of Plautus in the original Latin.

A tireless contributor to the larger classics community in numerous capacities, Mr. Higgins has served as President of The Classical Association of Connecticut and as Director of The Classical Association of New England Summer Institute.  He has a list of some thirty publications, including several articles in refereed journals, and he is a co-author of the well received textbook Carpe Diem: A Horace Reader.  Mr. Higgins is an active member of many professional organizations, including The Classical Association of New England, The American Classical League, and The American Philological Association.

A supporter of Mr. Higgins’ nomination for this award has commented on his effectiveness and dedication as a teacher, saying that “It is no surprise that a number of his students have gone on to study classics at such colleges and universities as the University of Connecticut, Fordham, Holy Cross, Dartmouth, and Bowdoin.”

One grateful parent expressed her appreciation as follows:  “Integrity, intelligence and humor are the characteristics I most associate with John Higgins.  For the past nine years, John has taught Latin, Greek, and Classical Studies to our four sons, but his impact on our lives goes much deeper.  John’s passion for teaching and his commitment to the Classics has been emulated by our oldest sons who, with the encouragement of John, attended the College of the Holy Cross, graduated with degrees in Classical Studies and now teach in private schools.  John is that rare teacher that touches the lives of students and inspires them to reach their academic and personal goals.  His subtle brand of humor, his humbleness and his academic acumen are qualities that set him apart, yet endear him to his students and his colleagues.  He leads by example, out of the spotlight, focusing on his students without the need for constant validation and praise.  The program that John has built at The Gilbert School is unique.”

We are pleased to recognize Mr. John Higgins as a recipient of the 2013 APA Pre-Collegiate Teaching Award for his distinguished career of scholarship, service, and teaching at the pre-collegiate level.

Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education Subcommittee on the Pre-Collegiate Teaching Award

Ronnie Ancona
Peter Howard
Keely Lake
Sally Morris


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