• Check back for the latest Parkway West news Monday, Aug. 24 when school resumes.


Latin teacher Tom Herpel works to form meaningful connections with students and athletes

Latin teacher Tom Herpel entertains students with a sword and a gladiator helmet. In class, Herpel focused on the learning process while making the class enjoyable for students and involving cultural experiences. “I’ll always remember the vocative tense, or command tense, because we learned it and vocab by doing yoga-like the game Twister,” Rutledge said.

Olivia Zerega, Convergence Journalism Writer

December 17, 2019

Whether it is in the classroom or on the soccer field, Latin teacher and varsity boys soccer coach Tom Herpel preaches perseverance and guides students to be the best versions of themselves. Herpel is in the business of building relationships with all he comes into contact with. “He gave me ad...

Latin program faces potential cuts

Translating a story from their textbook, freshmen and Latin II students Mary Hardy and Claire Folkins work together. The practice translations in the textbooks follow a story of the same characters throughout the four books. “I chose latin because both of my sisters took it and they both really enjoyed it. Also because they both said Herpel was the best teacher,” freshman and Latin I student Claire Folkins said. “Our class is really close and we all get along really well. We can joke around with each other but also get work done when it needs to get done.”

Claire Smout, Awards Coordinator

March 13, 2019

Due to an enrollment drop in Latin in recent years, the future of the program is being threatened. If more students do not start taking Latin I and II, the number of sections of the class will only continue to decrease as students move through levels III, IV and V. “We are seeing that students have way more...

Students bring a dead language to life

In a hands-on activity, freshmen Claire LeDuc and Claire Folkins write curse tablets in Latin 2 . After learning about how Romans used wax tablets to write curses on gravestones of people who wronged them, the class tried to replicate them. “It taught me more in depth about how people used to live back in Rome,” LeDuc said.

Fatema Rehmani, Staff Writer

February 26, 2019

Reading the works of classical authors like Cicero and translating, Latin students focus on bringing back Roman history. Labeled as “dead” and thought of as ancient or a language of the past, Latin teacher Tom Herpel works to keep it alive. “I chose Latin because at the time I was studying for the spel...

Students blend art and Latin

Twelve tiles currently line Herpel’s ceiling, and six more are in progress. Herpel provides resources for students to carry out the detailed research in depicting the deity of their choosing. “I’ve always liked the myth surrounding Proserpina. Also, knowing that it would take an obscene amount of time for me, a serial procrastinator, to complete, I figured that Proserpina wasn’t one that a lot of other people would ask to do,” junior Natan Shpringman said.

Nell Jaskowiak, Opinions editor

February 6, 2018

Along with a mural of the Roman forum on the wall, student-painted ceiling tiles join the collage of decorations hanging from Latin teacher Tom Herpel’s walls. The tiles that depict ancient Roman deities are an ongoing project in Herpel’s collection of handmade classroom decorations. “I had a meet...

Getting to know Latin teacher Jodi Wickman

Latin teacher Jodi Wickman poses with her husband and her two children, Edmund and Cosette.

Gabby Leon, Staff Writer

October 13, 2017

Pathfinder: What got you interested in teaching? Wickman: “After my master’s degree, I wanted to work in a museum and was interning in the education department of Milwaukee Public Museum. I decided to teach for a couple of years to get some experience and fell in love with teaching. This is my 13th year teaching...

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