Latin teacher to leave for Canada, husband to fill spot

“I wonder if I’ll ever talk about St. Francis of Assisi again,” Middle School History Department Chair and Latin teacher Paul Chenier said.

Next year, Chenier will no longer teach history and will instead teach Latin at the Upper School after his wife, Dr. Siobhan McElduff, leaves to teach and do research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

“With Dr. McElduff leaving, the opportunity presented itself,” Chenier said. “I asked to be considered when I knew there would be a vacancy.  I spent a lot of time in college studying Latin and Greek, and it will be nice to spend more time working on Latin and doing my best to share my enthusiasm for the language with students.”

Though there will be a “large commute” for them to see each other, Chenier feels that this is simply “a peril of the modern relationship in which a couple has to balance their ambitions with their personal life. The reason we are putting up with this is because it is a large opportunity.”

Chenier and McElduff have previously lived apart when Chenier taught college in Canada and McElduff lived in Los Angeles. Chenier started to work in the middle school history department in 1999. He currently teaches ninth grade history and Latin III and IV.

McElduff has been teaching at Harvard-Westlake for the past three years and currently teaches Latin III and III Honors, a combination of Latin IV and V and a Gaelic directed studies class.

McElduff’s move was primarily the result of her desire to do more research, something she finds difficult under the constraints of a high school schedule.

“It’s going to be a big shift for me,” McElduff said. “It was a very difficult decision.  It’s such a nice school and nice city that the physical shift will be one of the hardest parts.”

In addition to her research on Latin literature, McElduff also plans to publish a translation of Cicero for the Penguin Publishing Group and other classics authors as well as journal articles on Irish literature and other classical studies coming out next year.

Chenier looks forward to being able to participate in “the educational process of the students.”
“Right now, I teach students for one year and often never see them again until they’re walking across the stage at graduation,” Chenier said.  “Now, I’ll literally travel with them.”

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