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

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