Megan Trenda '07
Megan Trenda ‘07 double majored in Spanish and Secondary Education, with a teaching license in World Languages & Cultures K-12. While at UST, Megan spent a semester studying abroad in Madrid with IES, and also spent two J-terms in South America with the VISION program. After graduating, Megan began teaching Spanish at Minnetonka High School where she continues to work today. In 2010, she took a leave from teaching to obtain an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College in Madrid.
Below Megan responds to a few questions about her experiences since graduating from St. Thomas.
What have you been doing since graduating from St. Thomas?
After graduating from St. Thomas in 2007, I began teaching Spanish at Minnetonka High School. After three years of teaching, I took a leave of absence to pursue a Master’s in Spanish with Middlebury College. Their graduate language program consists of spending one summer session at the language school on campus in Vermont before moving to Madrid to study for the school year. I took a “generalist focus” for my Master’s and was able to take courses in linguistics, literature, history, and language pedagogy. Upon returning home from Spain, I continued to teach Spanish at Minnetonka High School and also began to take on leadership opportunities within the World Languages department. I have programmed and led student trips to Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile, and I also have served as the Spanish club advisor.
I recently transitioned to working as the Immersion Lead of our Spanish and Chinese immersion programs, overseeing both programs as they transition to the high school level. This school year I am also developing and teaching a new course, IB Language & Literature, Language A, to our Spanish immersion students. Teaching Spanish to immersion students at the secondary level has been a challenging and exciting opportunity, with the Language Arts and Literature content of the course being tailored to meet student’s learning needs at their high levels of language proficiencies.
Why did you decide to major in Spanish?
I always enjoyed the challenges of learning another language, and it has also been fascinated to learn about the rich history and culture of Spanish-speaking countries through the language. I grew up knowing I wanted to be a teacher, and Spanish was always my favorite course in school. Watching my older sister study abroad during her college experience also greatly piqued my interest. I realized that I could combine my passion for teaching with the Spanish language, while also being able to travel and live abroad as part of my studies and career. It then became an easy decision to pursue a major in Spanish.
How has knowing Spanish benefited you personally and professionally?
The Spanish program at UST gave me a foundation to use Spanish professionally and helped prepare me to study Spanish at the graduate level. The department was very supportive and encouraged the study abroad opportunities where I felt my Spanish truly came to life.
What advice would you give to incoming or current students who are considering majoring or minoring in Spanish?
Majoring or minoring in Spanish (or any language) will benefit you personally and professionally. It is also what our world needs -- more internationally-minded global citizens who are bilingual. Also, the study abroad experience is an essential part of your language education, and I would encourage all majors and minors to study abroad for at least a semester. Minoring or majoring in a language is signing up for a life-long learning experience and an appreciation for another culture. You are never done learning Spanish; you will always be pushing yourself to keep using and improving your language. ¡Sí se puede!