Grier School offers a superb setting for the study of foreign languages. Our international student population serves as a daily reminder for American students that foreign language study is valuable in the global village of the modern world. Our modern language department offers five years of study in Spanish or French.
Grier's dedicated and talented modern language teachers include department head, Madame Kimberly Pope, who studied French abroad in Paris and holds both a B.A. and M.Ed in French. Senorita Taylor Leen hails from the New Hampshire seacoast and has extensive experience with the Spanish language through formal education and travel. She is midway through an immersive master’s program through Middlebury College. Native French speaker, Madame Marie-Pierre Shaffer heads the ESL department and has two Masters Degrees from the Sorbonne, making her dually skilled to teach both English and French as foreign languages. Senor/Monsieur Tristan Wilson is the department’s newest addition and switch hitter. His dual degrees in International Studies and Hispanic Language & Culture and a secondary emphasis in French mean he can teach both languages at Grier. Like our other modern language faculty, he has benefited greatly from studying abroad and immersion programs.
In addition to more traditional classroom teaching methods, the modern language department faculty members provide cultural experiences for their students. Some examples include making crepes, playing French language Scrabble, taking a trip to see traditional Spanish dancers, dining experiences, and weekend trips to museums. The department also invites students who demonstrate a deep interest in the study of foreign language to join the French and Spanish Language Societies. New members are inducted annually in a special ceremony.