Jared Copeland

Before assuming his current position as a Latin teacher at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, Jared Copeland spent a richly frenetic two years learning as much as he possibly could in the M.A. Emphasis in Classical Philology, while also making significant contributions to our departmental community. He taught his own Latin section in each of his four semesters, progressing to Latin 202 (Introduction to Vergil’s Aeneid) in his last, and also served as a teaching assistant in the Summer Intensive Greek and Latin Programs. For his extraordinary efforts Jared won a 2011 University of Arizona Foundation Outstanding Graduate Assistant in Teaching Award. Jared also won the Doidge Latin Award (2010), the inaugural Sandra Rhead Jones Graduate Student Latin Teaching Award (2011), and the CAMWS Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Classical Studies. He presented a paper (“The Roman Character of Latin Literary Prayer Language”) at CAMWS in 2010 (Oklahoma City), and ultimately produced an M.A. thesis entitled "The Cultural Reception of Numa Pompilius and Evolving Attitudes toward Roman Religion."

Jared was always among the first to volunteer for outreach and other community activities. He delivered polished and stirring Greek and Latin recitations at various departmental events, as well as at the Southern Arizona Language Fair. He established the enormously successful Lectio Vergiliana, a half-day reading of Aeneid 4 in Latin at the UA Main Library, which we hope will become a departmental tradition. Jared single-handedly restored order to our crumbling departmental library, and converted LSB 226 into a useful workspace again. Jared could also regularly be heard throughout the second floor of LSB enthusiastically engaged in Latin conversation with some of his fellow graduate students (or canes, as they sometimes called each other).

After he received his M.A., Jared assumed a teaching position at Scottsdale Prep, an academically rigorous institution that features a Great Books program and emphasizes the Socratic Method. In his first semester, his 9th graders read extensive selections from Eutropius’ Breviarium Ab Vrbe Condita, Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, Cicero’s In Verrem and In Catilinam, and Catullus. He currently has 30 students enrolled in Greek.

(One the side: Jared in a Latin Classroom at Scottdale Preparatory Academy)

We interviewed Jared by email:

What are your fondest memories of your time in the department?

One of my favorite memories is of the celebration which occurred after my graduate student colleagues and I had successfully made it through the big week of comprehensive exams. It was amazing how much we had studied, researched, and learned in order to prepare for those exams, and getting through them was a real accomplishment.

Another of my fond memories is of the Lectio Vergiliana, which featured students and faculty taking turns to publicly recite Book IV of the Aeneid. It was so wonderful to see the enthusiasm with which we all appreciate ancient literature, and to see it in a venue outside of the usual classroom experience.

What about your graduate studies at UA has benefited you most in your subsequent career?

There was so much that enriched my knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Greek and Latin literature: formal reading courses; informal reading groups; research into current scholarship; writing papers; outside-of-class conversations with students and faculty; studying for the big M.A. exams; and of course all the research and writing that went into my thesis.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

Well, aside from my three young children, my life as a teacher keeps me pretty well busy. It's exciting work, considering that I'm teaching in a curriculum which includes five full years of Latin in grades 6-10, and two years of ancient Greek in grades 11-12. I'm really amazed to see more and more Arizona schools incorporating Classics into their curricula.

In addition to teaching, I'm hoping to get some sort of informal, regular meeting going, where Latin enthusiasts in the Phoenix area (or perhaps from all around the state) can come and practice their colloquial Latin.


You can reach Jared by email at: jcopeland@scottsdaleprep.org