Mrs. Marisela Belmonte is the new Spanish teacher, teaching ACP Spanish III, IV, and V, Honors Spanish II, and Spanish III. For Mrs. Belmonte, a native of Mexico, teaching Spanish is a joy because she is able to teach in her first language and to share her love of her culture with her students.
In Mexico, Mrs. Belmonte taught computer science and business, but when her husband, Jose Luis, was transferred to Oklahoma in 2005 to work in a concrete plant, she saw the opportunity to teach Spanish, she said. She obtained her master’s of education from East Central University in Ada, Okla., and was offered a position to teach Spanish while earning her degree. After earning her degree, she taught full time at the University of Oklahoma while also teaching in a public high school in Norman, Okla.
In 2017, her husband was transferred to Sellersburg, and she began teaching Spanish at Indiana University Southeast, where she still teaches Spanish part-time. Mrs. Belmonte also taught at Parkwood Elementary in Clarksville as teacher for English Language Learners. Although she enjoyed working with young students, she missed teaching in Spanish and was thrilled when she learned about the job opening here.
“Teaching in Spanish is my passion,” Mrs. Belmonte said. “I can speak in my language and teach my culture, and that fills my heart. Learning the culture is a key to learning the language.”
It’s only been a few weeks, but already she said she feels “at home,” she said. The teachers have all welcomed her and are ready to help her if she needs anything, and the students are eager to learn. She enjoys the positive environment and the respect the students show to their teachers.
“I love the quality that I see in the students,” Mrs. Belmonte said. “They really want to learn, and they are really well prepared. They can have a conversation in Spanish with me, and I feel sure that if they continue, they will become fluent Spanish speakers.”
Mrs. Belmonte is part of a group of Latina women from 26 different countries who share their culture with each other, which gives her an opportunity to learn other Spanish-speaking cultures – and to share what she learns with her students. She also enjoys playing tennis and hiking with her three children, ages 17 to 22. Each one graduated from high school a year early, and the oldest is, Memo, is a chemical engineer. Her son Rogrido and daughter Michelle attend the University of Louisville.
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