Dr. Jasmine Pena, World Languages
Dr. Jasmine Pena, Assistant Principal of World Languages, received her doctorate in educational leadership
from Nova Southeastern University, where she wrote a dissertation on multicultural education. She majored
in Spanish literature at Hunter College, where she earned her MA.
Pena was born and raised in New York City, but her family is from the Dominican Republic. Her love of languages
led her to study French, Italian and Latin. She taught Latin to High School students for several years before beginning
her tenure at Brooklyn Tech, where she teaches Spanish.
Pena believes the World Languages department teaches more than just foreign tongues. "My favorite courses are all World Language classes that provide training in speaking, writing, listening, and readings skills and that cover concepts such as diversity, globalization, language, and cultural appreciation."
All four of the World Languages Tech offers -- Chinese, Spanish, French and Italian -- are very popular, and are available at both regular and AP levels. Some students opt to begin a new language rather than taking an AP.
Given that the Tech student body represents a variety of languages spoken at home, many students come to school with some language background. Tech courses are aimed at both native speakers and students new to World Languages. "Our classes aim at broadening students' horizons to empower them with better communication skills. It is our goal for all students to achieve mastery in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, by utilizing teaching strategies that enable all students to do well in their language classes."
Pena says, "One of my favorite things about Tech, among so many, is that our faculty strives to provide an environment for educational, social and emotional growth in which our students can develop their intellectual gifts and examine ethical approaches to solve world problems. Moreover, our faculty is committed to providing our students with the level of rigor that is aligned with the expectations of colleges and universities. Thus, our alumni are a perfect example of the result of this education; Technites have changed the world for generations. The challenge is to continue providing our students with an outstanding education that will inspire their talents and craft their achievements."
In addition to teaching language, Pena co-authored a book called, "Social Justice Leadership for a Global World, chapter 19 -- Culturally responsive leadership strategies to promote multicultural teaching."
She also serves as a chaperone for the Model UN group at Tech, and assisted their conference in 2014.
Though learning a new language can be challenging, Pena often invokes her favorite Latin saying, "Per aspera ad astra!" Or, "A rough road leads to the stars!"