Degrees and Certifications:
Pine Manor College, AA, Boston 1969 New York University, BA, 1971 with a major in Spanish and Portuguese University of Madrid, Licenciada, Spanish Pedagogy University of Sarasota, Ed.S. 2004 University of Sarasota, Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership, 2007 Certificate Endorsements: Gifted In-Field; Teacher Support Specialist
Dr. Hester Vasconcelos
Dr. Hester (Hessie) Vasconcelos comes to North Oconee High School in 2019-2020 with varied professional experiences that have connected her inextricably to other cultures and languages. Originally from Colorado, she and her family have lived in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Recife, Brazil. In 1994 they settled in Marietta where she began her Spanish teaching career at Simpson Middle School and then 19 years at Walton High School in Cobb County. She has worked at Lake Oconee Academy in Greensboro since moving to the area in 2014. She and her husband live on a small farm with one of their two daughters, son-in-law, and three grandchildren.
She was a staff development instructor for Cobb County and Metro RESA Gifted Endorsement programs. At Walton High School she served as Department Chair for Gifted and Advanced Learning Programs, was the SAT and ACT test center supervisor. She has been an AP® Spanish Language & Culture Exam Reader, and currently is Co-Director of a yearly AP Summer Institute for AP teachers. She has provided immersion language and travel experiences for over 2000 students who have earned college credit from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education of Spain, she was instrumental in the process of helping two schools in Georgia to be named as International Spanish Academies where graduating seniors are awarded two diplomas: one from Georgia, and another from the Ministry of Education of Spain.
Dr. Vasconcelos filled two terms as a Commissioner on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, having been appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue. During that time she was a member of the Educator Ethics Committee and served as Vice-Chair of that committee for the final two years in office. She serves on the Academic Advisement Committee of the College Board's Southern Regional Council. Her term will expire in 2020.
As a language teacher she believes foundational language experiences strengthen and support effective communication. Her principle objective as a language teacher is to help students communicate in another language because she believes that communication promotes understanding, opens minds, and generates respect for other people and cultures. She believes the acquisition of a second language connects and prepares students to be citizens of a global community. As students study the language, they learn how to see other people of the world. Dr. Vasconcelos believes in providing students with learning experiences that are relevant, applicable, performance-based, and purpose-driven.