A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Get to know Dr. Richard C. Dickinson, Middle School Dean of Students and Wellness Teacher. He is currently in his sixth year at Latin.


Education

I attended Latin School for 14 years before attending Kenyon College in Ohio. Subsequently, I attended law school for two and a half years before having a change in vision. I then enrolled in a master's program for counseling. After graduating with a degree in counseling, I completed my doctorate degree in the field of counselor education.  
 

Favorite Quote

"The war of my life had begun; and though one of God’s most powerless creatures, I resolved never to be conquered." –Harriet Jacobs, author of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"
 

What are the best parts of your job?

The best part of my job is knowing that I play a role in ensuring that children feel seen and valued as unique and worthy of the opportunities that Latin affords. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to help shape and shift young mindsets in the direction of kindness and inclusivity, which helps create a community that is safe and welcoming. The ability to feel safe is essential with regard to students feeling like they can be open, authentic and available to learn. 


Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school?

Children are the key to securing a safe and productive future for all of us. My goal is to assist children with developing a positive concept of self that is based in integrity and empathy. The ability to love and appreciate one’s self in a holistic way allows for that appreciation and love to extend to broader communities. 


What is your philosophy on wellness in middle school?

I believe in a holistic approach to wellness as it relates to our students. This includes students having the supports and structures in place to address their mental and emotional well-being. We are very fortunate to have access to Mrs. Buchanan Miller, our dynamic school counselor, as well as a host of other professionals who are steadfast in their efforts to attend to the social and emotional needs of our students. Additionally, the middle school is well-resourced in terms of outlets and opportunities to address the physical health and well-being of our students. For example, it brings me great joy to see our students engaged in the practice of yoga as a component of our physical education curriculum. Students have the opportunity to practice being present and mindful at the direction of our phenomenal P.E. instructor Nicole Collias who guides our students through their yoga practice. Nicole is an expert in the practice of yoga and we are fortunate to have her working with our students. Finally, we have the great privilege of working with Nurse Jill Yacu and her colleagues. Not only is Nurse Yacu one of the hardest working people that I have encountered, she has the ability to make authentic connections with our students as they navigate all of the health concerns associated with being a middle school student while learning during a pandemic. 


What was the last good book you read?

The last great book that I read was Alex Hailey’s “Roots.”  The last good book that I read in terms of professional development was Dr. Jennifer L. Eberhardt’s “Biased.” The last good book that I read for a brain break was John Grisham’s “The Guardians.” 


What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

The best advice I ever received was from my father. I was in a difficult place mentally and emotionally after leaving law school. I told my father that I felt like I could not catch a break. He looked at me and said, “Son, that is part of the problem. You do not catch breaks. You make them.” I will never forget that advice.

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Do You Know... Dr. Richard C. Dickinson III?

Get to know Dr. Richard C. Dickinson, Middle School Dean of Students and Wellness Teacher. He is currently in his sixth year at Latin.


Education

I attended Latin School for 14 years before attending Kenyon College in Ohio. Subsequently, I attended law school for two and a half years before having a change in vision. I then enrolled in a master's program for counseling. After graduating with a degree in counseling, I completed my doctorate degree in the field of counselor education.  
 

Favorite Quote

"The war of my life had begun; and though one of God’s most powerless creatures, I resolved never to be conquered." –Harriet Jacobs, author of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"
 

What are the best parts of your job?

The best part of my job is knowing that I play a role in ensuring that children feel seen and valued as unique and worthy of the opportunities that Latin affords. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to help shape and shift young mindsets in the direction of kindness and inclusivity, which helps create a community that is safe and welcoming. The ability to feel safe is essential with regard to students feeling like they can be open, authentic and available to learn. 


Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school?

Children are the key to securing a safe and productive future for all of us. My goal is to assist children with developing a positive concept of self that is based in integrity and empathy. The ability to love and appreciate one’s self in a holistic way allows for that appreciation and love to extend to broader communities. 


What is your philosophy on wellness in middle school?

I believe in a holistic approach to wellness as it relates to our students. This includes students having the supports and structures in place to address their mental and emotional well-being. We are very fortunate to have access to Mrs. Buchanan Miller, our dynamic school counselor, as well as a host of other professionals who are steadfast in their efforts to attend to the social and emotional needs of our students. Additionally, the middle school is well-resourced in terms of outlets and opportunities to address the physical health and well-being of our students. For example, it brings me great joy to see our students engaged in the practice of yoga as a component of our physical education curriculum. Students have the opportunity to practice being present and mindful at the direction of our phenomenal P.E. instructor Nicole Collias who guides our students through their yoga practice. Nicole is an expert in the practice of yoga and we are fortunate to have her working with our students. Finally, we have the great privilege of working with Nurse Jill Yacu and her colleagues. Not only is Nurse Yacu one of the hardest working people that I have encountered, she has the ability to make authentic connections with our students as they navigate all of the health concerns associated with being a middle school student while learning during a pandemic. 


What was the last good book you read?

The last great book that I read was Alex Hailey’s “Roots.”  The last good book that I read in terms of professional development was Dr. Jennifer L. Eberhardt’s “Biased.” The last good book that I read for a brain break was John Grisham’s “The Guardians.” 


What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

The best advice I ever received was from my father. I was in a difficult place mentally and emotionally after leaving law school. I told my father that I felt like I could not catch a break. He looked at me and said, “Son, that is part of the problem. You do not catch breaks. You make them.” I will never forget that advice.

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photo of Brandel Tanis

Freyja Brandel-Tanis '14 has been named a 2022-2023 Fulbright Scholar. Brandel-Tanis will graduate from Georgia Tech with a master's in city and regional planning and MS in civil engineering this spring.

She has been awarded a Fulbright research award at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway and will be conducting stakeholder focus groups on the role of digital twins in sustainable transportation modeling. Her work will be an early stage in long-term research at NTNU to ensure the complexity of transportation systems is considered in future digital twins.

(Digital twins have established use in manufacturing and rocketry to virtually replicate physical environments and test potential scenarios, and some modelers and officials see their potential to improve on current transportation modeling technologies.)

Outside of her research, Brandel-Tanis is planning to engage with local queer organizations and ride her bike as well as exploring the Trondheim's public transit system. After her Fulbright, she plans to return to the US and work as a city planner/civil engineer before eventually pursuing a PhD.

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Fourth grade student at middle school

It's middle school Project Week, which means it's 4@45 where fourth grade students get the full middle school experience at 45 N. Dearborn!
Students got a locker for the week. They got to meet fifth grade teachers. Fifth graders gave them a tour of the middle school. And they get to have their classes in the middle school building this week. 

Students were greeted by fifth grade buddies, who gave them tips on opening lockers followed by special tours of the Middle and Upper Schools. The fourth graders followed their usual schedule but they also were introduced to the fifth grade teachers and had a special RoundTable class with the middle school counselor. They loved walking independently through the buildings. The highlight was always the lunchtime choices!

Check out some photos!

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Wooden Roman head

Lower School Computer Science and Tech Integration Specialist Fiona Deeney, Middle School Technology Coordinator Mike Demopoulos and Upper School Innovation Studio Manager Shane Enderle offered an inside look at Latin's maker spaces for parents/guardians.

Maker Space Teachers

At the start of the event, the team shared information about each division's maker space and projects created in them. Then they gave a tour of the upper school maker space to show some of the equipment and supplies students can access in all three divisions.

Upper School

EQUIPMENT
3D Printers
Vinyl Cutters
Laser Cutter
CNC Router
Soldering Irons and accessories
iPad Pro’s with Apple Pencils
VR Headset

SOFTWARE
Adobe Suite
Illustrator
Photoshop
In Design
Fusion 360
Sketchbook Pro
Procreate
Silhouette Studio
Mint Studio

Middle School

EQUIPMENT
3D Printer (x3)
Vinyl Cutter (x2)
Laser Cutter
CNC Router
MacBook Air (x2)

SOFTWARE
PrusaSlicer
Silhouette Studio
Mint Studio
iMovie

Lower School

EQUIPMENT
3D Printers
Vinyl Cutter
Laser Cutter
Digital Embroidery Machine
Sewing Machines 
LittleBits Pro Library and STEAM Kits

SOFTWARE
Doodle 3D
TurtleStitch
Silhouette Studio
Mint Studio
Drawing Pad

Afterward, parents/guardians got the opportunity to laser engrave on a pre-cut wood roman head. They also visited stations to make leather key chains, play with Little Bits electronics from the lower school, see embroidery and sewing machines in action, and a few physical projects that students have created.

The maker spaces at Latin aid students with designing and problem-solving, as well as develop skills, talents, thinking and mental rigor.

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upper school students on project week

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, upper school project week is back! Students chose to spend the week on one of the 25 in-town projects or 11 out-of-town projects.

The in-town offerings included:

  • Ad-RAP-tation: the Latin School and Q Brothers' Collective
  • Art and Anatomy
  • Chicago: Walking, Food, and Art
  • Code Your Own 2D Games and Build a Mini Arcade Cabinet
  • Curling in Chicago
  • Cycle Chicago: Riding & Wrenching
  • Dancing with culture
  • Design a Chicago Bike Tour
  • El mundo Latino in Chicago: An Exploration of Chicago's Latinx Community  
  • Exploring Chicago’s Queer History
  • Find Your Inner Chef
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Just for Kicks
  • Make Your Escape (Room)
  • Making Music
  • PADI Scuba Diving Certification and Training
  • Sports Marketing: A Strategic Perspective
  • Survivor
  • Theatre in Chicago
  • The Greatest City in the World Chicago Gospel
  • Treemendous Forest Preserves 
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Wellness: Mind & Body
  • What Makes a Neighborhood?: Art, Advocacy, and Food
  • Yarn Bombing

The out-of-town offerings included:

  • Canyoneering & Rock Climbing Adventure
  • Civil Rights Trail 2022
  • Coral Reef Experience in Florida Keys
  • Cycling Through the Sonoran Desert
  • Detroit: Invention and Reinvention in a Great American City
  • Exploring the Pacific: Oceanography of Southern California
  • Latin Iditarod: Dogsledding
  • Mountain Biking in Moab
  • The Ancestral Heritage of The Land of Enchantment
  • The Raw & The Cooked: A Literary Feast in Michigan
  • There is No Business Like Show Business!: LA TV & Film

Check out more photos and videos from our PWeek take over on Latin's Instagram @latinschoolofchicago at #latinpweek.

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