Finding Life in a “Dead” Language


Mrs. Lauren Marquard, who is dedicated to building successful relationships with her students, is known for her engaging teaching methods in Latin and World History.

She is fascinated by words and always knew that she wanted to teach.

She is a Mercy graduate and was awarded the Heart of Mercy when she was a senior.

She is a person of strong faith and her philosophy on life is that it should be evident by your actions that you are a follower of Christ.

So when Mercy offered her a position to teach Latin, Mrs. Lauren Marquard knew that she was supposed to be here.

“God just opens doors,” said Mrs. Marquard. “At the end of the day, I think the goal is to prepare ourselves for Christ and lead others to him.”

Marquard’s love for classical languages, specifically Latin, is rooted in her love for words.

“I like to know what words mean and I like making up new words,” she said. “I cannot listen to a song without dissecting the verb tenses in the song. I cannot watch TV without finding references to the classical world.”

Passionate about Latin, she is determined to educate the people that say Latin is a dead language and that there is no point in studying it.

“Latin has been at the center of Western Civilization for more than 2,000 years,” said Mrs. Marquard, who now also teaches world history. Western literature, history, democracy, and philosophy are all rooted in Latin, she added.

Mrs. Marquard received her bachelor’s degree in Latin and history from the University of Michigan and has a secondary teaching certification. Although she struggled with Latin in college, she loved it and saw it as a gift that she could pay forward.

“You want your [students] to be better than you.”

In fact, what she enjoys the most about being a teacher are the students. She is unique in that she believes that even more important than understanding the material 100 percent of the time is that students feel that they are valued and that they are a part of something special.

Marquard also uses many innovative methods to instill a deep interest of Latin in her students. These range from attending the Carmina Burana at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, to field trips to the University of Michigan, and even an educational trip to Italy to learn about the history and culture of Rome, Siena, Pompeii, Ostia, and Florence.  For Marquard, the best part of these programs is seeing the students make connections.

“The best way to learn a subject matter is to immerse yourself through a variety of experiences,” said junior Jensen Pecora, who is an avid participant in Marquard’s activities and looks forward to going to Marquard’s Latin III class each day.

Marquard also offers the parents many opportunities to participate and engage in these programs to build a stronger community between parents and students.

“I am thrilled that my daughter has a teacher who is so enthusiastic about the subject matter she is teaching,” said Julie Pecora, Jensen’s mother. “It is obvious by all the extra opportunities she offers the girls to better enhance their Latin learning experience.”

With far reaching contributions and a steadfast faith, Marquard continues to touch the lives of Mercy students, not just through her teaching of Latin, but also through Focus on Faith, which is a student-based prayer group that Marquard started when she was a sophomore.

“This is very close to my heart,” said Marquard.  “I think people should be able to know that you are a Christian by your life. That’s why I like being here at Mercy.”