By Chase L. Manson ’16 & Cameron M. Bray ’16
Now teaching a variety of Spanish classes, Ms. Catharine Steffens said she gained an appreciation for culture from her family
“I grew up traveling with my family,” Ms. Steffens said. “My father spoke five languages like Greek, German, Spanish, Arabic and English.”
In high school, Ms. Steffens took German. In college she decided to major in Spanish, which she had taken in middle school.
“I went to USC, go Trojans, and I majored in Spanish,” Ms. Steffens said. “I had taken it before and I hated it, but in college it just clicked.”
After college, Ms. Steffens moved to Spain to teach. There, she was a Spanish teacher at a Montessori school.
“I worked at a Montessori with preschoolers,” Ms. Steffens said. “I also taught at an elementary school; I taught English there.”
Ms. Steffens currently teaches Honors Spanish 3, AP Spanish Language and Culture and AP Literature.
“I like her as a teacher,” said Mason Zwillinger ’15. “I think she tries to motivate us well and gets me to like Spanish more.”
In addition, Ms. Steffens moderates several clubs, such as Kino Teens, Padres Latinos Unidos de Brophy and is currently serving as the director of International Exchange Programs.
“I am the director of International Exchange Programs, which goes to China and Argentina,” Ms. Steffens said. “This year I am also putting on a conference for other Jesuit schools on Exchange programs.”
While the China trip is beginning its second year, the Argentina is in its sixth and students say they are excited for it.
“I’m going on Argentina this summer,” Zwillinger said. “I’m really excited and I think they’re really great experiences.”
Ms. Steffens said she is also looking forward to the trip.
“What I love the most is that students break through their misconception of culture,” Ms. Steffens said. “Cultures are similar, and teenage boys are teenage boys anywhere in the world.”
As Ms. Steffens organizes the trip, she tries to incorporate her international experience into the classroom.
“I think I put the love of communication,” Ms. Steffens said. “Communication with others is easy, if you put the work in.”
Besides her work at Brophy, Ms. Steffens says she enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and dreaming of Jaguars.
“I love the old Jaguars,” Ms. Steffens said. “They are classy and classic.”