Dr. Mark Freeman will retire on July 31st of this year after 25 years of service as the Superintendent of the Shaker Heights (OH) City School District. What becomes most apparent in reviewing and comparing Dr. Freeman's leadership with other Superintendents past and present, both in Shaker and other school districts, is that it is manifest, even in his early years as an Administrator in the Central Office, he showed an unparalleled enthusiasm and support for the teaching of Classical Languages.
In 1985, Dr. Freeman oversaw the major curriculum changes involved in the implementation of the Middle School model of education in the Shaker Schools. Most notably, he was adamant that the Shaker Middle School Foreign Language program would include Latin as one of the three languages taught there, and that a new wide-ranging Latin curriculum be designed and written specifically for 7th and 8th grade students. Twenty-eight years later, Latin still thrives in the Middle School, and is one of the premier Latin programs at that level in the United States.
In addition, Dr. Freeman has been the guiding force behind the Shaker Schools becoming a full-fledged K-12 International Baccalaureate School System. His commitment to an international focus in education has constantly emphasized an intense involvement of World Language in all three of its parts- the Primary Years, the Middle Years, and the Diploma Programme. Again, for the group here assembled, the most important part of the District's implementation of the International Baccalaureate, has been that due solely to the persistence of Shaker Schools- under the express direction of Dr. Freeman- Latin was recently awarded full Language B status by the IB Board, thus making Latin eligible to be included as an integral part of the Middle Year Programme.
In Dr. Freeman's quarter-century as leader of the Shaker Heights City Schools, the Greek and Latin programs offered in the Shaker Schools have grown large in size and strong in stature through his support. Currently five Latin and Greek teachers work at the Middle and High Schools, offering students the possibility of taking six years of Latin and/or four years of Greek.
Bombarded far too often with constant news of dying and defunct Latin programs at secondary and post-secondary schools around the country, it is a pleasant task for CAWMS to present a 2013 CAMWS AWARD FOR SPECIAL SERVICE to Dr. Mark Freeman- to an administrator who throughout his career has not only realized the value of the Classics, but has done so much to support this discipline in the Shaker Heights School District.