Written by Amber Bansal ’24, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Bolles Bugle
Señora Adriana Stam takes on the role of Department Chair after Señora Cathy Soud, previous department chair and longtime faculty member of 41 years, retired.
She pursued the position because she knew that she “was ready for a challenge in areas in which I could grow and continue to learn” after 19 years as a Spanish teacher at Bolles.
Stam now teaches all of the AP Spanish classes offered at Bolles including two sections of AP Spanish Language and Culture, as well as AP Spanish Literature and Culture.
So far she loves her new position because though she is “very, very, very busy,” she enjoys that “every day is unique.”
Her main responsibilities include attending strategic school meetings with administrators, leading foreign language department meetings across the San Jose and Bartram Campuses, as well as assisting teachers with anything they need.
Stam’s plans for the department range from celebrating faculty birthdays to creating a department mission, both with the goal of uniting the 17 foreign language teachers.
“We are looking at creating a statement that unites us in our goals, our mission, and what we want to accomplish,” she says. ”That I think will create a lot of good discussion among the department members and help us reflect on why we do what we do and keep us aligned with our goal.”
She recognizes the unique role that languages play in the world and the impact that foreign language teachers have.
“It’s about making those connections and understanding someone goes way deeper than just knowing how to translate something,” she says. “It’s so important nowadays for us to learn how to get along in such a globalized world. And it’s a big piece of helping to build bridges among people.”
Her passion for the language began with her family speaking Spanish at home and continued through high school and college, as she double majored in Spanish and did a study abroad in Spain.
She knew she wanted to continue in the field and teach because she loves the age group and connecting with the youth, “particularly teenagers because they are excited about life and everything that awaits them.”
During her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, Stam applied for a teaching job at Bolles and never imagined she would get the job, but “they believed in me.” Now as department chair, she wants to “continue the tradition of Bolles being an excellent place.”