From the Leaf Chronicle:

Tim Winters has a passion for the classics, and it's that passion that has kept him in the classroom for the last 20 years.

His love for teaching Greek and Latin at Austin Peay State University received a $500 boost when Winters was tapped for the Award for Excellence in College Teaching for 2007 by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

CAMWS is a not-for-profit organization made up of about 1,600 secondary school instructors and college professors teaching Latin and Greek in 34 states across the nation and Canada.

As a college student Winters thought he might pursue music, then photography and later English.

But after evaluating his favorite writers, he noticed a common theme — a passion for the classics.

Winters remembers his first day in Greek class as a college student: "It was like falling in love."

He enrolled in Greek and Latin classes simultaneously, and he's never regretted that career direction.

"It's like having your foot in a stream or a seat at the table.

"You have the ability to reach across centuries and miles and touch the minds of human history and share that with other people," Winters said.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors at the University of Arizona, and completed his master's and doctorate work at Ohio State University.

He spent two years at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece, where he studied archeology.

Winters said he will use the CAMWS monetary award "to develop a study abroad program to Italy for students seeking certification in Latin."

"There is a desperate need for people trained and certified in Latin to teach in the classroom," Winters said. "Currently, there are about 156 Latin teaching positions open across the country."