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Meet Ms. Gonzalez!
Upper School Academic Dean and Spanish Teacher 

Ms. Gonzalez teaches upper school Spanish at Harpeth Hall. Her experience has included teaching Spanish and French for over 25 years to K-12 students, serving as Assistant Director for Outreach at Vanderbilt's Center for Latin American Studies where she facilitated the creation of curriculum development about Latin America, and serving as the first vice president for the TFLTA (Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association). She has organized and led trips to Argentina, Spain, France, and New York. What she most treasures about Harpeth Hall is the deep and lasting relationships with her students and the curiosity they bring to the experience of learning both on and off campus. 

As a teacher, what drew you to Harpeth Hall?

In my previous job, I led workshops and collaborated on K-12 curriculum on the topic of Latin America, It was in that context that I had the opportunity to work with Harpeth Hall teachers Denise Croker and Elizabeth Allen (among others!) who were creating a unit for use in their English and Spanish classes. I remember being impressed with the way they were thinking about teaching, in a way that was both forward thinking and collaborative. In a way, they inspired me to come back to teaching high school after having been in higher education administration for a few years. I continue to be inspired by the creativity that our faculty bring to the craft of teaching. 

What are you looking forward to during Winterim? What are you teaching?

Winterim magic is real! The joy that students bring to their classes, field trips, and assemblies creates an environment that allows for all kinds of growth. The experiential learning that we do in Winterim brings so much happiness in January. I love the lip sync contest! Every year it gets better. This year, I'm teaching two classed: Explore Nashville and The Story of Coffee.  

What have your students taught you?

So much! Grace, forgiveness, joy, self-awareness, resilience, and how to be a fierce listener. In fact, students are our very best teachers!   

What is your favorite unit to teach in your Spanish classes?

Each year, it has been different!  This year, I've loved the beauty and aesthetics theme in AP Spanish Language and Culture.  We've studied famous art of the Spanish speaking world, Picasso's "Guernica," as well as explored our own definitions of beauty.  I'm looking forward to a podcast project students will do in the spring on a topic of their choice surrounding beauty and how we'll weave this theme into the rest of the year.