At the beginning of the 1983-84 academic year, Margaret Grayson began teaching Latin in the upper school. She brought with her a B.A. from Salem College, a spunky persona, and a belief that to teach is to learn.
In the classroom she challenged her students to understand the essential structure of language and instilled a love of the classics, much like current Latin teacherWanda Finney. Colleague Richard Cook made the comparison and recalled that “the kids loved Margaret and her absolute frank, honest comments about any subject. It is so nice to have Wanda Finney to carry on the tradition that Margaret created with Latin at North Cross.”
Her personality made Margaret a real favorite among students. It was not uncommon to find her dressed in black on March 15, the Ides of March, to mourn the day of Julius Caesar’s death in 44 BC. While she pushed her students to reach their potential, Margaret also showed a compassionate side. Margaret was known for fussing at the lazy, cheering the industrious, comforting the unhappy, and laughing with everyone.
For Margaret, teaching extended beyond the classroom to the tennis courts, to the golf course, and to the bridge table. “She was a great athlete on the tennis court and on the golf course, and a fierce competitor in the state bridge scene,” recalled Mr. Cook. It was not uncommon for her to run out onto the tennis courts during break to play with the varsity team, then run back to class just in time to start teaching.
Margaret retired at the end of the 2008-09 academic year. The yearbook was dedicated to her for the second time—a rare honor indeed—and a sign of the respect her students had for her.
Photos: (top left) Margaret from the 1984 yearbook, (top right) from her yearbook dedication in 2009, and (bottom photo) at a pep rally in 1993.