President: Kathy Varda
Kathy Varda, originally from Roseville, MN, has been teaching since January 2009. After completing her student teaching at Pelican Rapids High School in Pelican Rapids, MN, she was hired as a teacher at Kingsford High School in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she taught Spanish I, II, III, IV and occasionally English. She attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI for her undergraduate degree and has done some work toward a Master’s degree as well. During her undergraduate she traveled to several different Spanish-speaking countries – Peru, Chile and Argentina, studying abroad at La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. She has traveled to Peru and Costa Rica with students. During the 2013-2014 school year she taught at Parkview High School in Orfordville, WI. In 2014-2015 Kathy taught kindergarten – 8th grades at St. John Vianney School and St. Mary School in Janesville, WI. She also taught at Stoughton High School from 2015-2017. Since 2017, Mrs. Varda has been teaching 8th grade Spanish and Spanish 3, 4, and AP Spanish Language and Culture at the School District of Beloit Turner.
President-Elect: Jessica Santiago
Jessica Santiago has been teaching Spanish since 2004 at the secondary level, and currently teaches at New Berlin West Middle/High School. She has lived and studied abroad in Mexico and Venezuela, and is a seven time leader of student study/travel (Costa Rica, Spain, Guatemala, Belize, Ecuador, Peru). She has 12 years’ experience co-advising the SHH at her former school, and currently advises International Club and is the school liaison for international students and study abroad programs. Jessica is active in professional organizations such as AATSP-WI and is very excited about her new board position as President-Elect! In addition to Spanish, she teaches Education Concepts, a “future teacher” adjunct course of UW-Milwaukee. Jessica is an active community volunteer, and is honored to be a 2020 Kohl Educational Foundation Fellow. Her most challenging work is being a good mother to two sassy but successful teenagers; her bilingual family supports the Milwaukee community, especially in the arts and music.
Past President: Erin Anderson Nienas
Erin Nienas, originally from Oshkosh, WI, has been teaching Spanish since 2012. After graduating from the University of WI-La Crosse, she taught middle school and high school Spanish at Cashton School District and Stoughton Area School District . She currently teaches at Neenah High School in Neenah, WI. Mrs. Nienas completed her study abroad experience at the Universitat de Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain in 2009-2010. She has enjoyed traveling abroad with her students to countries such as Costa Rica, Spain and Panama. Mrs. Nienas is active in professional organizations such as WAFLT and ACTFL and proudly represents WI in LILL Cohort 3. Mrs. Nienas is passionate about using the target language in her classroom and making language learning comprehensible and fun!
Treasurer: Jessica King
Jessica King teaches Spanish at Stormonth Elementary School in Milwaukee. From the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Jessica majored in Spanish Education K-16 and Elementary Education 1-8. Jessica currently serves as AATSP-WI Treasurer, NNELL Treasurer, and Wisconsin Representative for NNELL. She is an active contributor for WAFLT and FLESFEST, and proudly served as a writing team member for the 2019 Wisconsin Standards for World Languages. Señora King enjoys traveling, hiking, volunteering, and spending time with family.
Webmaster: Josh LeGreve
Josh LeGreve is a 2nd through 12th grade Spanish teacher at Green Lake School District, a small, public International Baccalaureate World School. He additionally serves the district as the drama department director, the MYP Community Project co-coordinator, and the Wisconsin Global Education Achievement Certificate school coordinator. He holds a BA in Spanish and physics with a minor in secondary education from Ripon College. Josh has served the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT) as advertising manager for the last 7 years and as WAFLT president for 2015-2016. He currently serves as WAFLT Fall Conference Co-Chair and as part of the 21st Century Communications Committee. Josh is also a member of the Wisconsin FLESFEST planning committee and was a writing team member for the newly revised Wisconsin State Standards for World Languages. Josh also served as Local Liaison for CSCTFL 2018 in Milwaukee and will be serving on the CSCTFL Board of Directors from July 2020 to June 2024.
NSE Coordinator: Victoria Carter
SHH Coordinator: Nicole Thompson
Nicole Thompson, originally from New Berlin, WI, has been teaching Spanish since 2012. After graduating from Marquette University she was a long-term substitute in various districts, including Muskego Norway, West Bend, and St. Francis. She then completed a year-long Rotary program in Salta, Argentina during 2013. She has been teaching at New Berlin West High School since August 2014 and teaches Spanish 4 and 5 (CAPP Spanish 204). She loves advising the El Sol Chapter of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, doing service in the community, and traveling with students to Spain, Costa Rica, and Perú.
Secretary: Kelly Brandstaetter
Kelly Brandstaetter teaches Spanish at Brookfield Academy. She has taught Spanish 1 and Spanish 3 at the Upper School and currently teachers 7th and 8th grade at the Middle School. Her students regularly take the National Spanish Exam. She studied at UW-Eau Claire where she studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain. She graduated with a degree in Spanish Education and a minor in TESOL. Since then, she has traveled to Costa Rica and returned to Spain with students! She looks forward to taking students to Peru in the Spring of 2020! She enjoys hiking, cooking, and of course – traveling!
Coordinators – Concurso Oral:
Janet Bull Jackson
Janet Jackson has taught middle school Spanish for 13 years at Badger Middle School in West Bend. She studied abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador, as well as traveled to Mexico, Spain, and Peru. Her heart lies in South America. She loves working with middle schoolers, and sharing the love of learning a language for the beginning years. The Concurso Oral is one of her favorite activities of the year. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her newlywed husband, their two dogs, and coaching volleyball and forensics.
Barb Olsen, co-coordinator of the Concurso Oral, is originally from Appleton. After graduating from UW-Oshkosh in 1990, Barb has taught in Fort Atkinson, Poynette, Kewaskum and West Bend High Schools. She is currently in her eighth year teaching Spanish and Speech at Kettle Moraine Lutheran. Barb studied in Salamanca, Spain in 1988 and has returned to Spain and Mexico with students a total of seven times since. She has also studied in Buenos Aires most recently in 2018. She is looking forward to exploring Peru with students in 2021. Sra. Olsen loves the enthusiasm in her students both in the classroom and in adventures abroad! Barb has been an active member in AATSP for several years and appreciates the opportunities the organization provides her students.