Andrew Key finds the language of Latin both logical and challenging.
“Sometimes Latin is just plain frustrating,’’ said the Waynesboro High sophomore. “Cicero has some long, enormous sentences.”
Latin poetry also has its moments, Key said.
“The poetry has some wonderful things. You would be surprised,’’ he said.
Key has persevered, continuing to absorb the difficult foreign language at a young age and learning as much as he can about Cicero, who is considered the greatest Latin orator and prose stylist.
Key’s scholarship in Latin has drawn the notice of his teacher, Rick Heatley, and has earned Key appointment to the Governor’s Latin Academy, scheduled for this summer in Richmond.
“Andy has phenomenal skills in comprehending Latin,’’ said Heatley, who has been teaching the language for the past four decades.
Heatley said Key’s appointment is prestigious, considering only 45 Virginia high school students are chosen each year for the Governor’s Latin Academy from high schools across Virginia.
The program is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education.
Applicants are evaluated by a committee of Latin teachers based on a Latin grammar test, an essay in English on a topic relating to Latin, and the overall application, said Helen Small, a specialist for foreign languages with the Department of Education.
Key’s teacher said he is only the seventh student in the history of Waynesboro High School to receive an appointment to the Governor’s Latin Academy.
“It’s nice for someone to go from Waynesboro and represent the school along with students from the most prominent high schools in Virginia,’’ Heatley said.
The nearly three-week academy will be held at Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University starting June 25.
During the academy, students will be introduced to classical Greek, and study important literature and philosophy.
Heatley said the students also would enjoy Roman banquets and learn from knowledgeable professors.
Key plans to continue his study of Latin although he says he will concentrate on music in college. He is also a member of the Waynesboro High Concert Choir.
He says the challenge of learning Latin helps him in other subject areas.
Heatley looks forward to having one of his prize students in class the next couple of years.
“He will be able to take Latin 4 and Latin 5. Those are the pinnacle of Latin studies, when we look at the greatest poets,’’ Heatley said.