Latin teacher to retire after 39 years

Latin teacher Kathryn Price has always had an intimate relationship with Ancient Greece and its famous roots.

She comes home and greets Laïda at the door.

She sits down on the couch in between Apollo and Artemis, so as not to make either jealous. She refers to the emperor Constantine by his nickname, Takis, and Alexander the Great by his traditional name, Alexandros.

Incidentally, both are in the corner of the room taking a nap.

She goes to the kitchen, where Eleni sits eagerly at the table. She then goes to the cupboard, takes out a large bag of brown pellets, pours them into a bowl, and feeds Miltos.

Price is also a cat lover.

A veteran of 39 years at Westlake School and then Harvard-Westlake, Price announced her retirement earlier this month.

She plans to devote more time to split between her two biggest passions: Ancient Greek and animals, both with her own cats and through charity work.

“I’ve been teaching for a long time, and it seemed like the right time to leave,” Price said. “The hardest thing to leave will be the students and great colleagues, but there are other things I want to do.”

With her own cats, Price has found a fusion of her two biggest passions, as seven of her eight total cats have inherited the names of Price’s favorite ancient Greeks.  (The eighth is named Fred. Don’t ask why.)

As well as her own cats, Price plans to devote much of her time to Voice for the Animals, a non-profit animal welfare and rescue organization based in Los Angeles. Currently, she is the executive assistant of rescue, rehabilitation and adoption.
“With animals, my joy comes from realizing that all of my cats are rescues,” Price said. “Every life rescued is very important to me.”

Price hopes her extra devotion to the charity will result in more adopted animals. As an avid animal lover, she is no stranger to the attachment to her rescued animals and the disappointment in not being able to save them all.

“When you’re in animal rescue, sometimes you get really discouraged because you can’t take them all. You have to say ‘no we don’t have room anymore. We can’t take any until we get some adopted out,’” Price said. “But every animal rescued is so important.”

Price also looks to use her free time brushing up on her Ancient Greek by reading Homer’s “The Iliad.”

“I really enjoy the solitary joy of reading,” Price said. “But it’s been awhile since I’ve used my Ancient Greek at the levels which Homer will require. Right now, I’ve been trying to work at it and I’ve been looking up every second word. Eventually it will be better.”

A teacher since 1969, Price has no plans to teach elsewhere. She said she will consider private tutoring; however, she will remember the joys of teaching.

“With teaching, the joy is with seeing somebody who doesn’t know anything about a subject, and by the end of that year seeing that light bulb go on,” Price said.

“Ms. Price has been a constant and stable pillar for so many years for the department and her students,” Foreign Language Department Head Javier Zaragoza said.

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