Alumna Rachel Frenkil, currently in her eighth year of teaching Spanish, loves working at Gann Academy.
She credits her early years at Nashoba Brooks School as the spark for her career path in education. Additionally, it was in Grade 4, studying French, when she discovered her natural aptitude for learning languages.
Rachel’s mother encouraged her to learn Spanish at a very young age. When her family adopted her younger brother from Guatemala as a baby, they wanted to have a bilingual home.
“I loved Spanish because of my family but Nashoba Brooks School showed me I could be very successful in languages in general because I was so good at French. It came very easily to me,” said Rachel.
After graduating from Concord Academy, Rachel attended Colby College where she traveled to Buenos Aires for six months to study abroad.
Rachel states, “After graduating from Colby College, I worked at the Pomfret School where they were willing to send me to Spain for a week, Madrid and Barcelona. Then I got my masters in Spanish (with a concentration in literature) from Middlebury College over the course of 4 summers.”
Rachel spent 6 more weeks in Buenos Aires taking more Spanish classes. As a result of her educational and experiential journeys, Rachel’s interests evolved over the years to include Latin American political history, Spanish-language film, and hispanohablante Jews.
Rachel has fond memories of her years at Nashoba Brooks, and shared her love for the Grade 6 Renaissance unit in particular.
“Nashoba Brooks showed me what a rigorous and great education is all about. Looking back [my experience] made me want to get involved in education. I am passionate about using authentic materials and applied grammar to create meaningful and engaging lessons for my students. My classes are communicative and student-centered,” she states.
Since running on the Nashoba Brooks cross-country team in Grade 7, Rachel continued running in high school and in college, and now coaches cross country at Gann Academy. She has completed three marathons, two in Boston. In addition to finishing with a stellar time for Boston (3.31.42), she also raised almost $25,000 for Dana-Farber, and hopes to run it again in the future.
When not teaching, coaching, or training for her next marathon, Rachel is committed to cultivating her interest in Latin dance. She can often be seen at the Havana Club in Central Square, where she enjoys both salsa and bachata (Caribbean partner dances). Looking toward the future, she thinks about her upcoming wedding and looks forward to seeing (and dancing with) many of her former Nashoba Brooks classmates. “At my wedding there will be at least seven women who will be there from Nashoba Brooks,” Rachel says with a smile.