A lifelong learner, Madelyn Gonnerman Torchin is a teacher-scholar who has endeavored to practice what she “preaches.” Blessed from an early age with caring and encouraging teachers, she matriculated at the University of Missouri-Columbia as the first-ever female recipient of her Savannah, GA, hometown’s Outstanding High School Graduate 4-Year Scholarship.
She holds a BA (Honors French and Honors English, Phi Beta Kappa), an MA (French), and PhD (French and Romance languages) from Mizzou and has taught at all levels—fifth grade to graduate school—for over 30 years. Currently serving as a program supervisor for classics at Tufts University, she oversees the licensing process for certifying Massachusetts teachers in Latin and classical humanities. The nexus of her scholarship is the point where Latin became Old French.
As Massachusetts Language Association (MaFLA) president, she advocated for a state supervisor for languages, becoming the DESE representative to the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages. Now joined by an official state supervisor, she continues to promote the NCSSFL vision of intercultural communication and proficiency for all. Since 2012, at the state level, she has trained administrators and teachers in all fields in the new State Evaluation system, served on the World Language Curriculum Framework Revision Team, and been an invited participant in the DESE High Expertise Teaching Project. She has given more than 40 presentations and keynotes at various national, regional, and local conferences.
Among her numerous prizes and recognitions, she particularly esteems the Caverly Award for Excellence in Teaching (Brookline, MA Outstanding High School Teacher) and the Classical Association of Massachusetts Award for Excellence in Teaching. The National Endowment for the Humanities and Council of Basic Education Rockefeller Foundation Independent Study in the Humanities Fellowship allowed her to attend the Classical Summer School at the American Academy in Rome among other travel and study, while appointment as a Brandeis Greek Fellow brought that realm into her experience.
Madelyn has served as a Board Member of Pathway to Possible (P2P), an organization providing housing, support and advocacy for people living with cognitive and developmental disabilities, since 2010, joining their Executive Committee in 2023. As she notes in her P2P biography, Madelyn “has three amazing children and loves spending time with their beautiful families, along with her husband Bob. She also loves hosting a good party, full of Southern hospitality, delicious food and a whole lot of laughter.”