CALDWELL, NJ – Trinity Academy’s Class of 2018 recently joined more than 143,000 students in all 50 states and 24 other countries in taking the National Latin Exam, which tests students’ knowledge of Latin grammar and Roman history and culture. Five recent graduates received national recognition for their performances on the exam.

One Trinity Academy graduate, Siobhan Stack of Bloomfield, received a purple ribbon and certificate for Outstanding Achievement from the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League. Fellow graduates Isabella Castillo of Verona, Michelle Malagiere of West Caldwell, Teresa McKiernan of Essex Fells and Alfred Pacicco of North Caldwell received Achievement Certificates.

Since 2014, Trinity Academy has required that Latin be a part of the middle school curriculum, and feedback from students, parents and faculty has been overwhelmingly positive, according to the school.

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Trinity Academy principal Linda Payonzeck explained why the school feels Latin is at the core of its middle school course load.

“Educational studies have shown the study of Latin not only improves a student’s understanding of the English language, but boosts performance in math and science as well,” she said.

Students have Latin class three times a week. The curriculum includes a grammatical study of Latin, as well as a focus on its history and culture.

Latin instructor Linda Shea, who has been teaching Latin for more than nine years, said the beauty of Latin is “in its construction.” With nearly half of English vocabulary being made up of Latin words and roots, Shea added that the study of Latin is known to foster precision in the use of vocabulary and grammar, and provide the root words for all the modern sciences. 

“It’s also exciting to consider how influential Latin and Roman culture has been on our society throughout history,” she said. “If you make the study of Latin fun, students respond with great enthusiasm.”

Studying Latin is also known to improve analytical and logical thinking, improve math performance, maximize SAT scores and serve as a strong grounding for education as a whole, according to experts, who also report that the study of Latin effectively develops and trains the mind.

The National Latin Exam is sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League for the purpose of encouraging study and achievement in the classics. It is administered at the middle and high school levels, and offers scholarships to high school students of distinction.

Click HERE to read about the Class of 2018 commencement ceremony. For more information about Trinity Academy or to register for a tour, visit or call 973-226-3386.

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