Robert Mitchell, a beloved Latin teacher at Newton North High School, died earlier this week, according to school officials and former students.
A school official said Mitchell, 60, had worked for Newton schools since 1990.
''Bob Mitchell was a gifted teacher, a treasured colleague and an extraordinary human being,'' Newton School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said Saturday. "Everyone in the Newton North community will miss Bob; our days at North will not be the same with him.''
The Globe received word of the death from former students, who emailed with remembrances of a teacher with a never ending quest for knowledge.
"Once a student casually asked him if there was a translation of the Gettysburg Address in Latin. There was not, and so Mr. Mitchell came into school at six o’clock the next morning and translated it himself, from memory, unaided by any dictionary, within a matter of hours. He filled Room 318’s two wall-length chalkboards in his narrow, near-unintelligible calligraphy,'' wrote 2007 Newton North grad Esther Mobley. Read Esther's tribute here.
Newton resident Laura Merrill said Mr. Mitchell was "an example to his students of someone who loved learning.''
"My personal contact was at parent night at the school,'' Merrill said in an email. "Other teachers tell parents how they will grade, or what topics will be covered. Mr. Mitchell dove right into a fascinating lesson on Latin and Roman history and then spent about a minute on what books would be read during the year. By giving us a Latin lesson he answered the question that most parents had: "Why does my child insist on taking Latin?" ''
Former students are offering their condolences, often in Latin.
"Mr. Mitchell was my Latin teacher 25 years ago and I will always remember him fondly. Requiscat in Pace, magister,'' wrote a poster on a teacher rating website, where other students consistently praised Mr. Mitchell.
The Globe is working on an obituary of Mr. Mitchell. In the meantime, readers are welcome to post their remembrances below.
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