Latin teacher departs mid-year, ending program

Hannah Masling

Latin teacher Nathalie Hanlet permanently left Wilson after midterms to take care of her ill mother. Wilson administration failed to find a replacement and ended the course, leaving Latin students scrambling to transfer to new classes.

Right after winter break, Hanlet informed Wilson administration that she would be leaving, giving them just a two-weeks notice. Consequently, the pursuit for a replacement was rushed and ultimately unsuccessful. Three candidates responded to the national search DCPS put out, but 12th Grade Assistant Principal Gregory Bargeman described two of them as “not a good fit.” The other candidate was a good fit, but said he wouldn’t be able to start at Wilson until May. Administration decided to end the class entirely so Latin students wouldn’t be left with a substitute for the remainder of the school year.

While the seniors from the class can have a free period, other students must find a half-year course to take. Junior Rema Haile arranged an internship with her math teacher, and expressed frustration over the fact that she wouldn’t be able to take Latin all four years of high school like she had hoped. Sophomore Walker Price was switched into Computer Applications. “I’d far rather be learning Latin right now,” he said.

Aside from the logistical struggles of credits and new classes, Hanlet’s students expressed great sadness over her leaving. “She genuinely cared about us and what she was teaching, and you could tell how much it mattered to her,” Price said. “She was heartbroken when she had to leave. I just felt really terrible for her because this is something that she loves.”

“If you were crying, if you were like, ‘I’m so tired’ or ‘I’m so sick,’ she’d come and be your mother. She’d try to fix your problems,” Haile added.

While Wilson will certainly remain Latin-less for the rest of the 2018-19 school year, the program’s place at Wilson next year is a mystery. “It’s still up in the air,” Bargeman said.