Spanish teacher Federico Alpizar is new to Country Day. A native of Costa Rica, he said growing up bilingual opened a lot of doors for him, and he wants to share that knowledge with others. He teaches in both the middle and high schools.

New Spanish teacher Federico Alpizar likes soccer, the beach and auto racing

Federico Alpizar is the new Spanish teacher. He teaches Spanish for the sixth, seventh and eighth grades in the middle school, and Spanish II in the high school.

Q: How do you like SCDS so far?

A: I think it’s a great school. I’m happy to be here, and the students are very smart.

Q: Did you teach Spanish at a school previously?

A: Yes. I taught high-school Spanish level two and level four honors most recently, and before that, middle school on the East Coast.

Q: How is Country Day different from your previous schools?

A: There’s more autonomy for teachers to do what they do best. At public schools, teachers have less of a say; we’re told what to do. That’s the biggest difference. That, and the quality of students in general.

Q: What do you look for in a good student?

A: Not only if they’re smart and can answer questions, but also they need to ask the right questions. That, and ethics, politeness and common courtesy.  

Q: Why did you decide to teach?

A: Growing up bilingual has made it part of my life and has opened a lot of doors for me. And I’d like to impart that knowledge to other people.

Q: Why did you choose to come to Sacramento to teach?

A: I like the school, and the teachers and the students seem like a good tight community. They are very supportive, and as a teacher it’s important to have support because what you’re doing not only makes a difference, but it’s worth something. You have knowledge that you bring forth. Not every place that you work you feel that way.

Q: I know you’re from Costa Rica, and have lived in many places around the world. Where do you consider your home?

A: I’m still looking to find a home. I was born in Costa Rica, lived there for a while, then moved to Switzerland.  

Q: How long were you in Switzerland, and what were you doing there?

A: I was there for about two years finishing my undergrad.

Q: What are some of the things you miss the most after moving to Sacramento?

A: Humidity (with a laugh), clouds and my daughter. I miss my daughter a lot.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: Soccer, cars and going to the beach.

Q: Are you a fan of auto racing? If so, what types?

A: Yes. I like endurance racing. I like World Rally, Formula 1, IndyCar and Le Mans.

Q: What three words would you say best describe yourself?

A: Fun, quiet, and “athletically smart.”

—By Allison Zhang