Nick Hajjar ’20

Catherine Amburgey, Co-Editor in Chief

Q: What were your first impressions of Ms. Frank? 


A: The first time I ever met Ms. Frank, I didn’t know who she was. I was in fifth grade at St. John’s Episcopal School during the Regional Latin Forum, and I was doing Certamen, which is basically like Latin jeopardy. She was one of the proctors. I remember her specifically because I thought “wow, this lady’s intense”. It’s actually kind of funny because I told her about this in my sophomore year and we both laughed hysterically. It’s just funny because she is such a nice person.


Q: What are some characteristics you would use to describe Ms. Frank? 


A: She’s always there to help, whether it’s classwork or anything else. She’d always be the one to stay afterwards and help you work. She was also there if you needed somebody to talk to. She was my go to person on campus. If I was going through some rough times I’d always just go to her room and talk with her. I just always felt comfortable with her, and she did a great job of understanding what you had to say. 


She always went above and beyond to make sure that her students did well and that the students who were comfortable with the material were comfortable emotionally. I also had her as an advisor and that was just another emotional connection because that was another small intimate group. We all got to know each other really well and just having her as an advisor really strengthened our relationship because it was a time where you could just talk about anything. I know a few other students in the advisory opened up to her about their personal problems, and she was always there to help, even for students who didn’t take Latin. Everybody who knew her recognized that she was such a kind soul and cared so much about her students. 


Q: What is your favorite memory of Ms. Frank? 


A: So, you know, Logan Guzik, right? One memory that stands out is that every Valentine’s day he’d buy her a rose, the senior year [rose]. He made a huge deal about it. We played Careless Whisper and he burst into the room with the rose between his teeth and he would do a little Tango, then kneel down to her and present the rose. We have a video that’s somewhere; it’s hilarious but that’s just one memory that stands out.


She gave me a copy of The Hobbit, but it’s completely translated into Latin. And it’s so cool. I tried reading it and it’s tough but it’s fun to try. It’s one of the few books I actually brought with me to college because it reminds me of her.


Q:  How has Ms. Frank made an impact on Berkeley? 


A: Since the Latin community is pretty small, she was very close to everyone and really had an emotional connection to them. You can tell that she cared about you on a personal level that you don’t get with a lot of teachers because either the class sizes are too big or you just don’t have those interactions with them. She was able to really draw the Latin community together because everybody knew that she cared about them and everybody cared about her. It was almost like a familial bond within Latin club.


If you ask any Latin student about Ms. Frank’s room, they’ll describe how it resonated differently than any other room on campus. I feel like it was because the room was almost like an extension of her. It was quiet and inviting. I’d go there sometimes during lunch, if I just wanted to be alone for a bit because school was tough or whatever or if I wanted to do work, that was the go to place. You could always pop in and say hello and there’s always a couple other students there. It was always a welcoming place to be. 


It’s so important for kids to have an adult like Ms. Frank. I always thought of Ms. Frank as somebody who’s objective. She cared a lot about us but she didn’t have any sort of favoritism that a parent may have. Ms. Frank or any mentor for that matter is more objective and they’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong and how to make it right. For a kid, it’s so valuable to share your life with somebody who’s not in your family that you can really trust and connect with. 

THUMBS UP: Ms. Frank sports some cool shades behind her desk. Photo from Nick Hajjar
GROUP HUG: Latin club members spread the love at Latin States. Photo From Nick Hajjar