Magazine of Latin School of Chicago

Do You Know... René Moreno

Get to know René Moreno, Lower School Visual Art Teacher.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

EDUCATION
I earned a BFA from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and majored in Illustration.

Position and title at LatinI am the Visual Arts teacher in the Lower School. This is my 5th year at Latin. I was here as an assistant art teacher for 3 years while I worked on my teaching certification, and I am so happy to be back!

I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, who are excellent at what they do and are so passionate about their work. I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? As an illustrator, I visited schools and libraries to promote my books and I usually taught a little art project at those visits. I loved working with kids, so I decided to get my teaching certification.

Who is your favorite artist?
It’s a tie between Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh.

What was the last good book you read?I am currently reading a wonderful book called Everything Sad is Untrue, an autobiographical novel about an Iranian refugee growing up in Oklahoma. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

What are your hobbies and interests?I enjoy collecting children’s books, walking outside, listening to music, and practicing yoga.

What was your first job?After college, I worked several jobs all at once: I worked as a freelance illustrator for children’s books, worked as a waitress and barista, and also painted silk for a fashion designer.

What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your lower school self? You can do hard things!

Our Voices

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  • Our Voices
Do You Know... René Moreno

Get to know René Moreno, Lower School Visual Art Teacher.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

EDUCATION
I earned a BFA from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and majored in Illustration.

Position and title at LatinI am the Visual Arts teacher in the Lower School. This is my 5th year at Latin. I was here as an assistant art teacher for 3 years while I worked on my teaching certification, and I am so happy to be back!

I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, who are excellent at what they do and are so passionate about their work. I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? As an illustrator, I visited schools and libraries to promote my books and I usually taught a little art project at those visits. I loved working with kids, so I decided to get my teaching certification.

Who is your favorite artist?
It’s a tie between Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh.

What was the last good book you read?I am currently reading a wonderful book called Everything Sad is Untrue, an autobiographical novel about an Iranian refugee growing up in Oklahoma. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

What are your hobbies and interests?I enjoy collecting children’s books, walking outside, listening to music, and practicing yoga.

What was your first job?After college, I worked several jobs all at once: I worked as a freelance illustrator for children’s books, worked as a waitress and barista, and also painted silk for a fashion designer.

What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your lower school self? You can do hard things!

Our Voices

Explore Our News & Stories

Latin Vegetable Garden

We are excited to announce the start of Latin School of Chicago’s Vegetable Garden located in the Greenwood Garden. The garden is producing nutritious vegetables this summer, which are being harvested and donated to local organizations for those facing food insecurity. This is one way Latin connects with communities in the city and promotes sustainability.

If you are interested in donating your garden-grown vegetables, please email organizer Helen Jeno at hjeno@latinschool.org and drop the veggies off at Latin’s US front desk on Wednesdays during the summer.

Take a look at our photo gallery here.

To learn more about the garden, please read the mission statement below. 

Latin School of Chicago Vegetable Garden Mission
As part of Latin’s mission to integrate our students into Chicago communities and promote sustainability, the Latin School of Chicago Vegetable Garden is dedicated to building enduring relationships with food-insecure communities in Chicago. We are committed to using Latin’s resources to cultivate healthful food and donate it to local organizations serving those in need. Additionally, we strive to foster mutually beneficial partnerships with these organizations to provide students with valuable insights into urban farming and the systemic disparities contributing to food insecurity.

  • Around School
Latin alum Kent Farrington ’99 represents Team USA in 2024 Paris Olympics

A huge congratulations to Latin alum Kent Farrington ’99 on being one of three Americans who will be competing in equestrian events at the 2024 Paris Olympics!

Farrington, who was born and raised in Chicago, started learning how to ride when he was 8 years old.

This is not the first time Farrington has represented Team USA. He was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and finished 31st in the individual competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

  • Alumni

Below is a list of the faculty and staff members who left Latin at the end of the 2023-24 school year. 

We want to thank them for their hard work and dedicated service on behalf of our school and students, and wish them the best in their future endeavors. 

Upper School

John Brown, History Teacher
Justin Clarke, Counselor
John Layer, French Teacher
Stephanie Stephens, History Teacher (Sabbatical Leave)
Faye Wells, Science Teacher

Middle School

Matt Eighmy, Librarian
Cory Graef, Science Teacher
Michael Hurley, Math Specialist and Math Department Chair
Kia London, Spanish Teacher

Lower School

Alyssa Dudzik, First Grade Lead Teacher
Katie King, Second Grade Lead Teacher

LS Assistant Teachers:

Amara Ball
Lauren Beatty
Kat Behling
Ariel Gomez
Melissa Klein
Jasmine Madrid
Lo Miles
Lauren Ming
Genna Newquist
Carlos Ocampo

Staff

Nick Bennett, Athletics Operations Coordinator
Erin Crowley, School Nurse
Chase Mangoni, Assistant Director of Latin 360
Veronica McCoy, Major Gifts Officer
Justine Venegoni, Lead School Nurse
 

  • Around School
Head of School Yearly Round Up

Dear Latin Community, 

The past several days on campus have been filled with ceremonies and celebrations, hugs and handshakes, and memories and milestones. We completed final assessments and projects; honored students, faculty, and staff for their accomplishments in and out of the classroom; and participated in annual events and activities that mark the end of the school year. We witnessed the transformation of our fourth grade students into middle schoolers, our eighth grade students into high schoolers, and our seniors into proud alums, who are poised to begin the next phase of their lives. 

While there is something somber about seeing the empty hallways, quiet cafeterias, and cleaned-out classrooms, the absence of the persistent buzz and infectious energy in our buildings has provided both the time and opportunity to reflect on our successes from this past year. For example, we made significant progress on the goals and initiatives tied to our strategic plan, including the ongoing alignment of our curricular and co-curricular programs. We continued to cultivate a strong sense of community and belonging through our DEI efforts (e.g., professional development, anti-bias training, affinity groups, etc.). We excelled on the courts and playing fields during all three of our athletic seasons, and had equally amazing results in the performing and visual arts. We helped those in need through volunteerism, service projects, and experiential learning opportunities. In addition, we raised a record $1.8 million during Romans Raise & Revel that will provide critical assistance to students who benefit from financial support. 

None of these achievements would have been possible without the tireless dedication of our faculty, staff, and administrators; the unwavering commitment of our Board of Trustees, Senior Advisory Council, Parent Association and Alumni Association; and the steadfast support of our families. For all of this, we thank you.

When I look ahead to the 2024-25 school year, there is much to be excited about. We will begin the next phase of our strategic planning, invest in priorities that are critical to the success of our students (e.g., health and wellness, technology and innovation, and experiential experiences), and continue working toward a more sustainable future for our School. These are topics we will explore in greater detail this fall.

As we depart for what I hope will be a relaxing summer break, there are a couple things I would like to ask each of us to do. The first is to think about the ways we can further strengthen and affirm our shared values of excellence, community, and integrity. While the good from this year far outweighed the bad, there were instances across our divisions where issues and challenges led us away from these values. With this in mind, I want us to reflect on how we can recommit ourselves to the standards and expectations that help define who we are. I also want us to consider how we can preserve and protect the principles that serve as the guideposts for all we do, and keep them at the center of the efforts we are undertaking to shape the future of our School. 

The second is to carve out ample time to rest, recharge, and reconnect. The stresses and strains of the school year take their toll on everyone. Let’s use the next two months to engage in self-care, focus on our overall health and well-being, and spend as much quality time as possible with friends and families. If we can do these things, I truly believe we will be poised and prepared to accomplish anything we set our minds to when we return in August.

Warm regards, 

Thomas Hagerman
Head of School
 

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