VIA Teachers in the Americas
Gissele Drpich, Burlington High School, Burlington, Vermont
Passionate educator born in Montevideo, Uruguay, raised in Montreal, Canada, now teaching French and Spanish at Burlington High School, Vermont, USA, Gissele Drpich is a life long learner. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics and became an educator in 2004. She is a polyglot and citizen of the world. Recognized in 2012 by Vita-Learn’s Project Ignite with an Ignited Teacher Award, after being nominated by colleagues for her innovative and forward thinking, Gissele loves being a language teacher and integrating technology to break down the barriers of the classroom to increase the learning opportunities for her students.
Enseignante passionnée née à Montevideo, Uruguay élevée à Montréal, Canada, Gissele Drpich enseigne présentement l’espagnol et le français à l’école secondaire de Burlington, Vermont, E-U. Étudiante perpétuelle, avec une maîtrise en Sciences Économiques, Gissele est devenue éducatrice en 2004. Polyglotte et citoyenne du monde, elle adore enseigner les langues et intégrer la technologie pour abattre les murs de sa classe pour augmenter les possibilités d’apprentissage des élèves. Elle est Lauréate du projet Ignite de l’organisme Vita-Learn, nominée par des collègues pour sa pensée progressiste et innovatrice.
Susan Plunkett Dunning was born in Burlington, Vermont. She received a Bachelor’s and Master’s in French at the University of Vermont. During that time she also spent a year at the Université de Nice. She has been teaching French and Spanish to middle school students in Essex Junction for 37 years, and directed an exchange with the Collège Ste. Anne in La Pocatière, Quebec for 14 years. She has two sons. Her oldest son is a software architect and her younger son is a policeman.
At the age of five, Barbara Gill and her four siblings moved to Geneva, Switzerland so her father could attend medical school. She has vivid memories of climbing the Alps, exploring castles and cathedrals, and tasting French cuisine. These experiences led to a love of all things French. Barbara earned
a teaching degree from St. John’s University in New York and has shared her passion for French with FHTMS students for the last 35 years. Barbara also holds a master’s degree in technology, and worked as an information technology integration specialist in the South Burlington school district for three years. She loved working with elementary and middle school colleagues, but missed her students. She is glad to be back in the classroom where she uses technology to bring authentic French culture into her classroom. Barbara is honored to teach her dedicated students to be global citizens.
Jill Prado is a Modern World Languages teacher dedicated to incorporating emerging technologies in curriculum and instruction to engage the NextGen Learner. Jill has taught at Essex High School since 2000, teaching both French and Spanish, as well as chairing the Department of Modern Languages until 2011. In 2012 Jill received a Rowland Foundation Fellowship. The Rowland Foundation Fellowship is a generous grant to support the launch of VIA—Virtual Intercultural Avenues—a web-based tool to improve teacher and learner effectiveness related to the acquisition of foreign language skills and cultural knowledge, while leveraging 21st century technology enablers to engage the NextGen learner.
Magali Simon-Martin, Champlain Valley Union High School, Vermont
Magali Simon-Martin lives in Burlington, Vermont with her bilingual family and teaches French at Champlain Valley Union High School.
She enjoys traveling, foreign movies, reading, theater, visiting museums, yoga and spending time with friends and family.
Magali Simon-Martin vit à Burlington dans le Vermont et enseigne le français au lycée Champlain Valley Union. Elle aime beaucoup voyager, découvrir le cinéma international, lire, aller au théâtre, visiter des musées, faire du yoga et se relaxer avec sa famille et ses amis.
Deb Stark, Essex High School, Essex, Vermont
Deb Stark has been teaching French at Essex High School since 1984. She studied French at the University of New Hampshire, in Dijon, France, and at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Her passion is traveling.
VIA Teachers in Europe
Annick Plétinx, Athénée Emile Bockstael, Brussels, BelgiumAnnick Plétinx has been teaching English for twenty years to students ranging in age from 15 to 18 years old. She really likes teaching and wouldn’t dream of doing something else. She has always lived in Brussels. Annick enjoys the bustling city life, although some peace and quiet is always a happy and welcome break. She enjoys hiking and reading English and American authors. She looks forward to collaborating through VIA, and believes it is a great opportunity to be able to develop new teaching methods and to actually share our everyday lives on both sides of the Atlantic.
Valentine van de Walle, Athénée Emile Bockstael, Brussels, Belgium
Valentine van de Walle is an English and Spanish teacher at the Athénée Emile Bockstael (AEB). She writes that she is the happy mother of three little monsters. She lives in Brussels and loves reading, swimming and her students.
Amélie Silvert, Lycée Fénelon, Lille, France
Amélie Silvert has been an English teacher in France for a total of twenty years. She is interested in sharing and learning thanks to new means of communication and technological devices. She has been teaching at Lycée Fénelon for eight years now and enjoys setting up new projects with pupils. She looks forward to future collaboration through VIA.
Richard Dirat, Gustave Eiffel Vocational High School, Narbonne, France
Richard Dirat, 42, was born in Toulouse, is married, and has two sons, ages 6 and 8. He has been teaching English for 12 years, having started his career in Rheims (Champagne -Ardennes). He has been working at Gustave Eiffel Vocational High School in Narbonne (Languedoc Roussillon) for ten years. He is very interested in music and travelling and is eager to get involved in international exchanges with his students.
Laure Laguerre, Lycée Denis Diderot, Narbonne, France
Laure Laguerre, a teacher at Denis Diderot High School in Narbonne, France, is currently teaching English in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades as well as at the level of the Brevet Technicien Supérieur (for the Marketing and Industrial Maintenance post high school Associate’s degree). Throughout her career, Laure Laguerre has taught students from 13 to 20 years old. She holds a degree in English Literature and Civilization from the University of Toulouse. She started teaching in 1998 in the regional educational authority of Poitiers, then in Reims. She moved to Narbonne, where she has been teaching since 2003. She is married and has two children, ages 6 and 8.
Luc Saint-Paul, Lycée Louise Michel, Narbonne, France
Luc Saint-Paul est marié et a deux enfants. Il est né à Toulouse (sud de la France) et y a fait ses études jusqu’en master de génie mécanique. Ensuite, il a réussi le concours d’enseignant et a commencé à travailler dans la région de Lille et puis de Paris pendant sept ans. Ensuite, il a travaillé à Carcassonne et puis à Narbonne.
Il enseigne la technologie au lycée : le dessin 3d, les calculs de conception mécanique, la robotique, la réalisation de logiciel ainsi que l’aéronautique (comment volent les avions, la navigation, la connaissance des avions et la météorologie).
Il adore la planche à voile et essaie d’en faire le plus souvent possible. Lorsqu’il n’y a pas de vent, il pratique le VTT.
Rose Saint-Paul, Cité Collège, Narbonne, France
Rose Saint-Paul enseigne l’anglais au Collège Cité à Narbonne depuis septembre, 2000. Ses élèves ont entre 11 et 15 ans. Elle a commencé sa carrière à Clermont-Ferrand dans le centre de la France en 1993, puis près de Lens dans le Pas-de-Calais, et puis à Creil en Picardie, non loin de Paris. Elle habite dans un petit village, Armissan , à 8 km de Narbonne et à 8 km de la mer méditerranée , dans le département de l’Aude. La région Languedoc-Roussillon est une région très ensoleillée, très appréciée des touristes. Elle aime marcher dans le Massif de la Clape, site classé, autour d’Armissan. Elle pratique la natation et la course à pied et elle fait du VTT aussi de temps en temps. Elle aime la lecture, le cinéma et les voyages.
Laurence Gomes, Lycée Diderot, Narbonne, France
Laurence Gomes was born in France, near the German border, and came to live in Narbonne in 1996. She has been teaching English since 1997 and never imagined having a different job. Laurence decided to become an English teacher at age 11! She now teaches students between 15 and 20 years old. She is married and has two children, ages 8 and 13. Her hobbies are travelling, dancing salsa, reading fantasy novels and thrillers, and watching American TV series.
Ane Sotres, IES Isaac Albéniz, Legeanés, Madrid, Spain
Ane Sotres was born in Bilbao, The Basque Country, so she has been living in a bilingual culture all her life. She spent some years teaching in the north of Spain, in the USA (Los Ángeles) and finally she got her position in Leganes, a town 14 km away from Madrid.
She has been teaching children, teenagers and adults for more than 25 years. She has travelled all around the world home-exchanging. She loves reading, films and meeting new people.
She is always looking for new challenges for her students and new teaching perpectives to keep on improving her lessons. VIA will be a great opportunity to do it!
– Essex High School, Essex, Vermont
Essex High School is in the northwest of Vermont, facing New York’s Adirondacks to the west and Vermont’s Green Mountains to the east. The public high school enrolls about 1300 students in grades 9 through 12.
– Burlington High School
Burlington High School is a comprehensive public high school for grades 9 through 12, located in Burlington, Vermont.
– Lycée Louise Michel Narbonne, France
Lycée Denis Diderot is in Narbonne in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France. The lycée enrolls about 1770 students.
– Lycée Fénelon Lille, France
Lycée Fénelon is a public secondary school in the north of France in the region of Nord-Pas de Calais. Lille is the fourth largest city after Paris, Lyon and Marseilles.
– Cité Collège Narbonne, France
Cité Collège is a public middle school in Narbonne, located in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France.
– Athénée Emile Bockstael Brussels, Belgium
The Athénée Emile Bockstael is a French-speaking public high school in Brussels, Belgium.
– Champlain Valley Union High School Hinesburg, Vermont
CVU, located in Hinesburg, Vermont, is a comprehensive public high school serving approximately 1300 students in grades 9 through 12.
– Frederick Tuttle Middle School South Burlington, Vermont
Frederick H.Tuttle Middle School is a public middle school in South Burlington, Vermont, serving grades 6 through 8.
– Albert D. Lawton Middle School Essex, Vermont
Albert D. Lawton Middle School is a public middle school in Essex Junction, Vermont, serving grades 6 through 8.