Welcome Message from the Spanish Academy Language Director
Greetings from Middlebury Interactive Languages at the Villa de la Montaña Verde!
I am Clara Hoellerbauer, the Spanish Language Director, at the Middlebury Interactive Languages Summer Academy Green Mountain College Site this summer. I am excited to be back for yet another summer, the first of which was in 2010 here at GMC. Since then I have also worked at the Swarthmore site. I was a Spanish teacher for the Spanish Academies and also in my “normal life.”
Over the years, I applied many of the great things I learned about language learning through Middlebury Interactive Languages in my own classroom and saw drastic increases in student growth. After teaching Spanish for seven years, I attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I earned my Masters degree in School Leadership. Since 2013 I am an assistant principal in Colorado Springs, CO. While I love my administrative responsibilities, I am happy to be back at the Summer Academy where I work with some of the best language educators I know.
I am working with an amazing team of educators, both inside the classroom and the residences. My Assistant Language Director, Liesl Yeskey, has been a teacher at the Academy and has returned for her second year as an Assistant Language Director.
Our Lead Teacher, Ellen McCormick, is also back for her second year at the Summer Academy. She will be teaching in the classroom and supporting the academy in an administrative role. Our teachers have many years of language teaching experience and come from various states and countries.
Our Residential Educators, who live in the dorms with your children, have traveled extensively and many of them have lived abroad in Spanish-speaking countries or are native speakers. We are excited to support your child’s language learning during language classes, cultural exploration classes, afternoon activities, assemblies, field trips and much more.
We have divided our large academy into three sub-academies: Las Ardillas Amarillas (Yellow Squirrels), Los Azores Azules (Blue Goshawks) and Los Renos Rojos (Red Reindeer). Students will be separated into these sub-academies for certain events and assemblies and unified as one Spanish Academy for others.
I want to thank you for entrusting us with your son and/or daughter’s care for the next few weeks. Over the course of their stay at the Summer Academy, your children will have the opportunity to participate in daily lessons, activities – everything from playing soccer to “watching the clouds” – dances, chat with their new friends, REs and teachers.
Some of our Cultural Exploration courses this summer include: “Let’s make Piñatas!,” “Weaving through culture,” “Mexican Legends,” “Eurovision 101,” “Yoga,” “Sculpting like Chillida, Dali, and Botero,” “Master of Modernity: Picasso and his Contemporaries,” “Bachata,” “Whose Line is It Anyway?,” “Spanish Tapas” and “Latin Crockpot.” Students will be able to select three of these courses.
We have invited a presenter from Argentina who will teach all students to dance the Tango and to teach our students how to prepare empanadas. Our off-campus excursions will be an afternoon at a local state park, where students will be able to enjoy the nature of Vermont, a flamenco concert and tour of Middlebury College, and a Field Day with the Language Academies at the St. Michael’s College campus in Colchester, VT.
I hope you stay updated with what happens at the Villa de la Montaña Verde, as we lovingly call Green Mountain College, through our blog. As you can see, updates are frequent since we love to share what your children are learning at the Summer Academy. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and do not hesitate to contact me either through my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by leaving a message at the GMC Site Office (802) 287-2950.
I look forward to meeting many of you at the end of the Academy!