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    Fall 2023-24

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The Voice

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The Student News Site of St Joseph's Academy

The Voice

The Student News Site of St Joseph's Academy

The Voice

Saying Salve and Hola to SJA’s Newest Language Teachers

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New World Language teachers, Ms. Sarah Harrington (left) and Mr. Ryan Alsop (right), pose for their SJA portrait.

SJA welcomed many new additions to the faculty this year. Two of these new teachers are now members of the foreign language department: Mr. Ryan Alsop and Ms. Sarah Harrington. Mr. Alsop teaches Latin I and Ms. Harrington teaches Spanish I.  

Ms. Harrington was born in Seattle but moved around often with her family, and her favorite place they ever lived was California. She earned her undergraduate degree in foreign language studies from Brigham Young University before earning her Master’s degree at the University of Memphis. She also studied abroad at the University of Costa Rica. She is fluent in German, English, and Spanish, and is still learning Japanese. 

Outside of school, Ms, Harrington enjoys sewing. She began sewing as a hobby a few years ago and just recently completed sewing a dress. Ms. Harrington loves to listen to music and sing; she loves music of any genre–except, perhaps, really heavy metal. She also appreciates the intersection between music and teaching language. 

“I love when my students find the joy in the language, like when they find a song in the language and listen to it because it’s good and they like it, and not because it’s homework,” Harrington said.  

Ms. Harrington has been teaching for seventeen years; her first experience teaching was in Japan teaching English to young children. She then taught German. Prior to coming to SJA, Ms. Harrington was teaching Spanish at the Forsyth School to students from the ages of two to eight. She discovered her passion for teaching while she was in Japan. She found it so invigorating and enjoyable that when she returned she began working on earning her teaching license. 

“The best part is watching that light bulb go off when you can see it on a student’s face that they are connecting with the language,” Harrington said. 

Mr. Alsop shares Ms. Harrington’s passion and love for teaching. He grew up in Anaconda, Missouri, but went to school in Saint Claire. He graduated from the University of Missouri Columbia with dual honors in history and classics and earned his Master’s in classics with a concentration in ancient languages from the University of Chicago. In 2019, Mr. Alsop began teaching, but then was furloughed because of COVID-19 and worked as a substitute teacher. Mr. Alsop now is happy to be teaching at St. Joe. 

As part of his work for his Master’s degree, Mr. Alsop participated in two archeological digs. His first dig was at Pilos in Greece and his second dig was in Italy where he and his team uncovered a 45,000-year-old piece of pottery that was used for cooking. He is excited to share his archeological knowledge with students on the Italy and Greece trip this summer. In addition to studying ancient Greek and Latin, Mr. Alsop is fluent in Italian and French. He chose to focus his study on Latin because he fell in love with the language and its literature, especially Latin poetry and satire. 

“It flows better than Shakespeare ever could,” Alsop said. 

Mr. Alsop has an older brother in the military who is working on becoming an officer. He also has a pitbull mix named Stormin’ Norman and a cat with the attitude of an angry British aristocrat, Carl Cornelius Buttons the Third. 

These two teachers are excited to continue their careers at St. Joe, and their students are equally excited to learn from them. They have already made an incredible impact on the St. Joe community and their love of language has translated to their students. 

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About the Contributor
Lucy Broun, Digital Managerial Editor
Lucy Broun is a senior at SJA. This is her second year working on the Voice and she is so excited to be the Digital Managerial Editor. Lucy is also a member of the SJA robotics team, an officer for Club Sandwich, and an officer of Earth Angels. When not at school, Lucy is a nanny, club volleyball coach, and an avid reader. Her favorite subject is social studies and she’s looking forward to her final year at the Academy.