Along with being a part of the graduating class of 2013, Michelle Yancich returned to the Pace community in an exciting new position, a teacher! In their high school years, they were involved in various activities around the school including Junior Classical League (JCL), Knight Gallery, chorus, acapella groups and theater. “I was in productions of Annie, Curtains and West Side Story, and in Fiddler on the Roof, I was the Fiddler!” said Magistra Yancich.
This year, Magistra focuses on teaching English and Latin in the classroom but is also one of the leaders for the Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA). “We didn’t have any affinity groups or alliance groups, and I’ve gotta say, it was really special to get to go to my first GSA meeting ever last month,” they said. Magistra noticed significant new changes to the school since they were a student at Pace. One of their favorites is the drastic progression of inclusive organizations. “I am consistently impressed by how much Pace has grown in embracing diversity, celebrating differences and educating its community in topics beyond the classroom.”
After graduating from Pace, Magistra spent four years at the prestigious institution, Yale University, where they studied Classics with a focus in Latin. They then returned to Georgia where they earned their Master of Arts in Latin. While pursuing their own passion for Latin, they decided to carry it into the classroom to share with others. In addition to their love for Latin, they also care about the student experience. “One of my favorite things about Pace is that it sets the expectations for its students very high, and the students rise to meet them with incredible grace,” Magistra said.
With the experience and perspective of being both a teacher and a student at Pace Academy, Magistra had a lot of great advice to share. “Ask your teachers for help if you are struggling, even if it’s something really minor! Our whole job is to help you learn and every teacher at this school is so excited about helping you do that in whatever way works best for you” they said. They also discussed an aspect about Pace that is unique like students’ free periods. “Pace gives an extraordinary amount of freedom to its students — I’ve never taught at a school that trusts its students enough to give them multiple free periods instead of more structured study halls.” Magistra hopes to be a great support system for the Pace community in and out of the classroom.