The Changing Life of Dr. Yeakel

Dr.Yeakel’s personalized coffee mug with a photo of him holding his daughter Rosemary, the word Pater written on the other side.
Photo Credit: Camden Pao

Life is changing all around Doctor Jeff Yeakel.
This year Dr.Yeakel has stopped teaching Latin I and started teaching 9th grade World History alongside Latin II. He welcomes the change and is excited for the new experience. Dr.Yeakel said, “I really like the change and being able to do lots of different things in the different classes. There is a different skill set, different types of lessons and things in World History. So being able to do them all, my day is different every day which I kinda like.”
Dr.Yeakel has taught at Bolles for six years since completing college and graduate school. In 2014, he went around Greece for Bolles filming locations so students in his pre-civilization could watch and learn about Greece. Dr.Yeakel’s service to Bolles has not gone unnoticed, being awarded the National Honor Society Teacher of the Year award a few years ago.
Dr.Yeakel did not always plan to be a teacher, it wasn’t ‘til college that his passion for learning truly formed. “Once I got to college, I really enjoyed learning and wanted to continue learning so went to graduate school to learn more about ancient Greece and Rome.”

“You have higher joys and higher highs, but then also it makes life a little scarier because you are responsible for somebody else’s life.”

It was this joy of learning that developed a passion for Latin and ancient history. Dr.Yeakel explained “Latin allows you kinda access to the direct thoughts of the people that lived 2000 years ago. When you are reading authentic Latin text, it is sort of a way of communicating with people from a long time ago.”

Not only does Dr.Yeakel spend time working hard at teaching, but also spends time raising a family. In April, he had his second daughter named June with his wife Lauren, whom he met in high school. When asked, Dr.Yeakel said having June and his three-year-old named Rosemary is one of his greatest achievements. He explained that life with two daughters is “busy, but really rewarding and nice. It is really good seeing them play together.”
Dr. Yeakel’s greatest influence is his own parents, who he credits with teaching him the values so important to him today. “They instilled a value of education and being kind to other people.”

A value supported by Dr. Yeakel’s favorite Latin motto, esse quam videre, which means “to be instead of to seem to be.” He elaborates by explaining “it is sort of the idea that what matters is who you are and what you think and what you do instead of a persona that you put on.”
Dr.Yeakel even said his father is his real-life hero. “He just a very kind person and patient. He was a physical therapist, so he liked helping other people. All things that I value.” As for his mother, she is now retired and spends her day taking care of Yeakel’s children while both parents are at work.
Having two daughters has given Yeakel a new perspective on life. Yeakel explained that that parenting makes “you have higher joys and higher highs, but then also it makes life a little scarier because you are responsible for somebody else’s life more so than in the past.”
Balancing both school life and family life, changing curriculum or changing diapers, it has been a year of change for Dr. Yeakel.