Degrees and Certifications:

Danielle Gillis

¡Bienvenidxs! I am thrilled to be the new PYP Spanish teacher. I graduated from Grinnell College in 2020 with a Spanish major and a concentration in Latin American Studies. During those four years, I studied abroad in San José, Costa Rica, and Valparaíso, Chile, for a semester each. I have been with SPPS since 2020 as an Education Assistant for kids and families who speak Spanish at another school. I am so excited to join the HPPA community and to help your kids learn Spanish!

I grew up in South Dakota with my parents and younger sister. When I was little, I loved swimming in the lake, doing gymnastics, finding frogs, and raising butterflies. I now share a home with my friends and our two lovely dogs, Frankie and Baloo. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, foraging, teaching violin, volunteering with horses, singing, and drawing! This fall, you may even spot me singing at the Renaissance Festival!

I believe that language learning gives students a new lens through which to experience the world, and I am thrilled to have the privilege of sharing this with your students! We will have a rigorous curriculum full of fun learning songs, crafts, nature walks, and writing, reading, math…you name it! We will touch on themes of colonization and indigeneity, current events, and story-telling—all while probing deeper into building our own communities in the classroom. My number one rule is that you don’t need to be everyone’s friend, but you must treat everyone kindly. I expect my students to stand up for themselves and for others, and I appreciate feedback from them and you, the families. Please do not hesitate to reach out for a conversation, either via email or phone call.