Bottcher named president of Alabama Junior Classical League

    Mountain Brook High School student Matthew Bottcher will be president of the Alabama Junior Classical League for the 2020-21 academic year. The rising senior learned of his selection in mid-April following an online vote. 

    "It means so much to me to hold this position that it's hard for me to put into words,” Bottcher said. “Sometimes I still can't believe I really got this position, but I'm so excited for what the future holds.”

    Bottcher has taken Latin since he was in seventh grade at Mountain Brook Junior High and served as president of the MBHS Latin Club this school year.

    He became a member of the AJCL when he began his Latin studies but didn’t dive in fully until attending the state conference in ninth grade. The AJCL is a branch of the National Junior Classical League, an organization for middle and high school students studying Latin and Greek.  

    “JCL is a really, really great thing, and a lot of kids really love it, and Matthew in particular really has taken to it,” MBHS Latin teacher Drew Lasater said. “From the time he was in seventh grade, he’s really been into it.” 

    Bottcher started studying Latin because he aspired to be a doctor and knew that many medical terms have Latin roots. It soon became his passion. 

    “I fell in love with the language, grammar, and culture of the Ancient Romans,” he said. “I find it so interesting and beneficial to learn about the roots of our language and society.”

    Bottcher attended his first national conference last summer in Fargo, North Dakota. Afterward, he made it his goal to become AJCL president. 

    “I’m very, extremely proud,” Lasater said. “I’ve never had a kid lean into it this hard and take on leadership at the state level.”

    As president, Bottcher will lead the AJCL Executive Council and spearhead planning for next year’s state convention. He said he is looking forward to guiding an organization that has given him some of his best memories and closest friends. 

    “Being a leader in this organization means I have the chance to pass that joy onto other kids just like me, and having the opportunity to do that means so much to me…,” he said. “I really hope that I can do it as well as the presidents who have come before me have done it for me."