Winners of the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee and the 2007 National Vocabulary Championship cite textbooks published by Memoria Press as keys to winning.
Textbooks written by Cheryl Lowe and Martin Cothran were key tools used by the winners of both the 2007 National Spelling Bee and National Vocabulary Championship to prepare for the competitions.
The winner of the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee singled out two of Louisville native Cheryl Lowe’s Latin programs as texts he used to prepare for the competition, which was broadcast recently on ESPN. When asked what curriculum Evan O’Dorney used, his mother responded, “For his Latin studies, we used Latina Christiana and we’ve done two of the Henle books.” Mrs. Lowe wrote Latina Christiana for students in grades three through six, and also wrote the instruction guides to the high school Henle Latin text.
The winner of the 2007 National Vocabulary Championship, Robert Marsland III, also used Lowe’s Latina Christiana, as well as Traditional Logic, written by Martin Cothran. The $40,000 first prize winner said that to win the competition, “I mostly relied on my Latin and Greek knowledge.” Robert’s father was so impressed with the texts Mrs. Lowe and Mr. Cothran wrote that he actually started classes in his community using two of Mr. Cothran’s logic texts, Traditional Logic and Material Logic.
“I wrote Latina Christiana simply because I could not find a Latin textbook that offered what I wanted for my students,” Lowe explained. “Ten years later, it’s proven to be a much-needed book, and it’s exciting to learn that students who are winning national awards are finding this helpful in their studies. More than anything, my singular desire was to teach Latin, and publishing this book has enabled me to teach to thousands.”
Since first writing Latina Christiana in 1996, more than 200,000 students across the U.S. and in 23 countries have used Mrs. Lowe’s Latin texts. Her passion for education also led her to create a publishing company, Memoria Press, and found the Highlands Latin School, a K-12 classical Christian school with 285 students. The Latin books were published by Memoria Press, which has published 150 titles since it was founded in 1996.
Martin Cothran drives to Louisville from Danville to teach Logic and Rhetoric at Highlands Latin School. He is also the editor of The Classical Teacher, a journal of classical education with more than 100,000 copies printed each year.
“The students who used our books to prepare for the National Spelling Bee and the National Vocabulary Championship prove the value of a classical education,” Mr. Cothran says. “I hope that more students will follow their example. Latin is the basis for a thorough knowledge of the English language and will help any student throughout life.”