Meet the World Languages Team of Teachers

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Julia Kuipers, Fifth and Sixth Grade

This is my second year at Trinity School, and I am thrilled with the direction of the World Languages program.  I am passionate about supporting students in learning a new language and diving into the excitement of a different culture.  My background is in Spanish, and I spent four months studying in Honduras while completing my undergraduate degree at Calvin College.  I have continued onto a non-romance language study by picking up Japanese with Rosetta Stone.  This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Japan, a place I hope to return to soon.  I greatly value coupling language acquisition with the people and culture where that language is spoken.  I look forward to encouraging my students to passionately pursue their language of study and to seek understanding of a culture connected to that language.

Abby Smith, Third and Fourth Grade

Abby Smith is a seasoned teacher, with prior experience teaching Pre-Kindergarten and First Grade World Languages at Trinity School.  In 2010 she  earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Texas Woman’s University.  Supporting her love of languages, Abby has traveled around the world in search of new cultural experiences, practicing languages abroad, and enjoying rich diversity.  While living in Strasburg, France, Abby became immersed in French language and culture.  This type of engagement within a language is what she hopes for in each of her students’ language learning. Although she has studied Spanish, French, and German, she continues to love learning new languages.  While in Africa in the summer of 2011, Abby was excited to hear the Afrikaans language which is a relative of Dutch and German.  This inspired her to re-ignite her German studies through Rosetta Stone, which she hopes will allow her to return to Africa soon and communicate with Afrikaans-speaking groups.  Abby desires to ignite the same language excitement in each of her 3rd and 4th grade students through language acquisition, practice, and global awareness.

Brandi Hoyos, Kindergarten, First and Second Grade

Brandi came to Trinity in the winter of 2006 as a Spanish teacher. She attended the University of Georgia, during her undergraduate studies, and finished with a degree in Spanish. Brandi values the diversity of the languages offered in the World Languages program and loves to teach her students about the richness of each culture. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, photography, reading, and attending Zumba classes. She often frequents Europe, as her husband is a Spanish native, and enjoys traveling abroad and meeting new people.

Jackie Wilkerson, Kindergarten and Conversation Group Coordinator

This is my first year at Trinity, and I am very excited to be part of such a wonderful learning community. I am looking forward to getting to know my students and seeing them grow in both their language proficiency and understanding of different cultures. In high school, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain and live with a native family. During this time, I conversed with local people, explored Spanish cities, and discovered my love of learning about other cultures and traditions. This was a rewarding experience for me, and while I chose to pursue a degree in elementary education at Samford University, I continued my study of the Spanish language and finished with a Spanish minor after a winter term in Costa Rica. This year, I look forward to sharing what I have learned from these experiences with my kindergarteners, as well as learning with the kids as they discover new words, customs, and traditions.