Miss Joan Brewer


College of William and Mary, A. B.

Latin, Spanish, Latin Club Sponsor, Junior Classical League Sponsor

  Mrs. Palmer (substitute teacher); Miss Joan Brewer, Mrs. Mary Beth Picinich Stokes, and Mrs. Mae Weaver "Miss Brewer, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Clark, and Miss Gray laugh heartily as Mrs. Thomas reads aloud some of her papers."  
1961 Anchor, p. 26 1963 Anchor, p. 18 1964 Anchor, p. 55 1965 Anchor, p. 26
05/12/04 05/13/04 02/10/07 05/12/04

I can add a bit of into about Miss Brewer to the lore.

Joan Brewer was a W and M classmate of the wife of Bill Tew.
Bill is the choir director at St. Paul's (downtown Newport News) and teaches
(taught, he may have retired by now) in a York County Middle School.

I took 5 years of Latin (and a year of Greek that Miss B kindly taught me
when she'd run out of literature in Latin for me to translate!) at NNHS and
knew Miss Brewer pretty well so I was interested in what Mrs. Tew had to say.

Miss Brewer married and lives in CA.
She holds a doctorate in languages, specializing in Mandarin Chinese!
She has published many monographs and several text books.
She teaches at a university in northern CA.
She was so young when she came to us
and I remember her driving a little Ford Falcon.

1962 Anchor, p. 70

"The beginning of the English language, and the basis for many others, Latin has for centuries been studied by students from all over the world.  It is not only important as a basis for languages, but for the culture that surrounds it.  Kathleen Pilgrim ('63) and Kenny Branch ('62) point to the display on the board
about Ulysses."

- Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('62) of VA - 06/20/04
Thanks, Kathy!


Carol, what a nice page for Miss Brewer!  And the photo that includes me floors me.  Miss Brewer was a great influence
in my life and what I learned in Latin class has always put me head and shoulders above everyone I have ever met
in terms of my ability to speak with a good vocabulary and to understand terminology from medicine, law
and many other specialty areas.  So being shown in an old photo with Miss Brewer is very special to me. 
Thank you so much for the honor. 

- Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('62) of VA - 06/21/04
Thank YOU, Kathy!

Kathy, Hey what about the guy in the picture? I'm glad the Latin class did wonders for you - wish I could say the same.
All I remember is "alea jacta est" (sp) and "et tu Brute" (kind of shallow for three years of Latin huh?).
Oh yeah, occasionally it helps me solving words in a crossword puzzle, so all was not lost.
I did enjoy Miss Brewer and the classmates. Miss Brewer was so quiet and laid back.
But one evening after school, I saw her on the back of a motorcycle and could not believe it.
I never did ask her about that.

- Kenny Branch ('62) of AR - 06/22/04
Giggles!  Thanks, Kenny!

Miss Brewer was very patient with us clowns in Latin 2.
I do not know why I took Latin but I enjoyed it and I am sure it helped me on my SATs.
I made my son take Latin and he said the same thing...they do not offer it in public high school here.

- Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 07/21/04
Thanks, Jean!

A few minutes ago I looked up Miss Brewer in the '65 Anchor. Unfortunately for my self esteem, I remember the toga parties
in the cafeteria. Could I possibly have looked any more foolish?? Since I did not become either a doctor or a pharmacist,
my three years of Latin were only marginally beneficial. Omnia Gallia est tres partes. Aliea jacta est. Me casa est alba.
Tempus fugit, so bye.

- Ray Barnes ('65) of VA - 04/15/11
Thanks, Ray! One of my great regrets in life is not studying Latin.

"Carpe Diem" wav file (Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society) courtesy of http://www.geocities.com/aaronbcaldwell/DeadP.html,
at the suggestion of my son, Nathaniel Harty of IL - 05/12/04
Thanks, Nathaniel!

Image of Latin Books courtesy of http://www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_types.html - 04/10/08

Back to Teachers

Return to NNHS Class of 1965