Dr. Jeff Huyck by Brandon Summerrill, Math Teacher
Walking into Dr. Jeff Huyck’s classroom, it is difficult to ignore the mutual respect between teacher and students. Students are captivated by the stories of our ancient world that are recited daily by Dr. Huyck with amazing clarity and wonderful wit. His in-depth understanding of the ancient world and Latin language began after high school when Jeff worked with a retired high school teacher studying Latin. This teacher, Walter Gales, forced Jeff to leave his academic comfort zone and caused him to take ownership of his education. This led Dr. Huyck to obtain his undergraduate degree in Greek and Latin at Stanford University then a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Classical Philology.
Upon finishing his doctorate, Jeff earned a fellowship in Munich, Germany helping to write a Latin dictionary called the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. Similar to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae is an exhaustive study of language, the only difference being the Linguae Latinae is a study of the Latin language. His main focus during this study was Latin words that begin with the letter ‘P,' his major contribution being the word “praevaricatio." Please discuss this with him, it is truly a fascinating conversation.
Students describe Dr. Huyck as supportive, funny, extremely smart, a good guy, and “chill.” His classroom is best described as a wonderful balance of very little stress with really high standards. Dr. Huyck’s approach to teaching is deeply rooted in his own educational experience, specifically, his time with Walter Gales. It is Jeff’s belief that success as a student is largely based on taking ownership of your education and finding your own path. When a student is able to do this, Dr. Huyck feels he has succeeded as an educator.
Jeff currently lives in Aptos, the same town that he spent his childhood years. In his free time, he enjoys reading and working on his Bonsai garden.