When Middle School Spanish teacher Olga Muñoz describes the importance of learning world languages and of studying their literary tradition, she describes not only the development of young people’s intellect, but also the importance of rooting her students in a particular way of being in the world. “It is most important that everyone experience the language and culture of other people,” she says, emphasizing the value of striving to become more aware of one’s own place in forging appreciative relationships, something she calls “being trained to be a universal human.”
Growing up bilingual in Puerto Rico gave Mrs. Muñoz the advantage of bilingualism, a sense of being at home in more than one language that she loves passing along to her students. Although she shares Spanish poetry and literature with them, she enjoys capturing their interest through humor, music, and popular culture.
Mrs. Muñoz came to Florida as a young adult after marrying her husband Frank, who was an officer in the Air Force. Together, they moved between Florida and California following his career. The family grew to include three sons. Mrs. Muñoz took up the study of Humanities and Education at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida, and began teaching English as a Second Language and other subject areas to students from Grade 2 through high school age. Upon the birth of her third child, Mrs. Muñoz felt called to become certified as a teacher of Spanish. She taught Spanish Advanced Placement and Gifted classes for over three decades in Fairfax County Public Schools, (including 28 years at Lake Braddock High School), where she especially enjoyed teaching the AP language courses of grammar and literature. More recently, she taught Spanish at Flint Hill School in Fairfax.
Mrs. Muñoz enjoys being with her family and cooking for her three grandchildren, and spends her individual free time as both an avid reader and an author. Her favorite genre is memoir.