John Henry Hansen Jr. has taught for three decades, at Westmoore and Moore High Schools, the University of Central Oklahoma, and the University of Oklahoma. He holds two master’s degrees, one in Classics from the University of Cincinnati and one in Library Science from OU. In his years as a high school teacher, Mr. Hansen served as a state sponsor for the Oklahoma Junior Classical League, assisted with a National JCL Convention (held in 2000 on the OU campus), chaired his World Languages department, and led student trips to England, France, Italy, and Greece for five consecutive summers. In 1998, he was the first Oklahoma teacher to participate in spoken Latin training, at the University of Kentucky Conventiculum. Westmoore, Moore Public Schools, and Wal-Mart named him Teacher of the Year in 2000. So successful was his program that it required an additional Latin teacher in his final year. Mr. Hansen still maintains teaching certification in multiple subjects, including Spanish.
At the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Hansen teaches four consecutive semesters of Latin language, and in past years has taught ‘Ancient Greek Civilization’ and ‘Ancient Roman Civilization’ (now known as ‘Rise and Fall of Rome’), a course he initiated in 2007. The University of Oklahoma has recognized his work as both a teacher (OU Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award, 2009) and an advisor for the Letters degree (Dean’s Outstanding Advising Award, 2009). He acted as Academic Advisor for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from 2009 to 2012. At its national meeting in 2011, Mr. Hansen addressed the Society of Classical Studies on the importance of high school teaching. The Classical Association of the Middle West and South has honored him with its Outstanding Vice-President Award (2019) and the prestigious Ovatio (2010). An important part of his role at OU is to recruit and mentor new high school Latin teachers. As part of that effort, he continues to represent Latin and Greek on the board of the Oklahoma Foreign Language Teachers Association, an organization he has served for almost thirty years.
Mr. Hansen is very pleased to have taught the siblings, spouses, children, and even one grandchild (so far!) of former students. These students have gone on to do all kinds of important things but—as the son of a longtime public high school teacher—he is especially proud of the ones that have become teachers.