Veteran Spanish teacher settles in for first year at SHS

September 10, 2018 — by Jessica Wang

Stephany Marks has taught Spanish for 24 years.

After five years of teaching at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, Stephany Marks has transitioned to Saratoga High this year and is teaching two classes of Spanish 2 and three classes of Spanish 4 Honors. This will be her 24th year teaching overall.

Marks said she is excited to teach at SHS and “come over to this side of the hill.”

“My first impression was that all the other teachers and the staff and the faculty are so nice, so kind and so welcoming,” Marks said. “I was nervous starting out the year, but I felt a lot better with how sweet everybody was.”

Marks was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, and moved to Half Moon Bay when she was 15, where she took Spanish classes at Half Moon Bay High School.

“I had a great Spanish teacher, and I picked up the language quickly,” Marks said. “And there was a big Hispanic community where I lived, so I was able to practice it a lot.”

Marks attended UC Davis, studied abroad in Spain for a year and returned to UC Davis to complete her major in Spanish. She eventually received her master’s degree in Spanish from Guanajuato University in Mexico.

Starting from a young age, Marks had always wanted to be a teacher, and feels that she has already reached many of her goals as far as teaching.

In the classroom, she focuses on building a strong foundation for her students and an understanding of culture in Spanish speaking countries so that they can use their language skills in the real world.

“My hope is that my students can leave my classroom with the desire to want to continue with Spanish,” Marks said. “I hope they use it out in the world and travel and help their community or other communities and have confidence in themselves.”

Junior Christina Xiao, who is currently taking Spanish 4 Honors, has noticed that Marks’ teaching style is highly immersive.

“I think she makes us speak Spanish more often and more consistently than other teachers in the past,” Xiao said, “which, while more difficult for us, will ultimately improve our Spanish as we continue to practice using the language.”





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