Brigid Kilner '17

Brigid Kilner ‘17 has embraced adventure this year, teaching English at Colegio Tierrallana-Entrepinos, an elementary school in Aljaraque, Spain.

Brigid graduated from The Catholic University of America in May of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish for International Service. Although she was unsure of the exact career path she wanted to pursue post-college, going to teach in Spain made sense to Brigid as an exciting next step. “I knew that no matter what, I wanted to work with people on a daily basis,” she says. She is no stranger to Spain, having studied in Sevilla before the pandemic hit. Now back as a teacher, Brigid has the opportunity to put her talents to use in an environment where she is working directly with people each day. She is also able to continue honing her Spanish-speaking skills and dive deeper into the study of education.   

At Colegio Tierrallana-Entrepinos, a typical day for Brigid involves six one-hour sessions of conversation practice with students. She incorporates singing and playing in English into her curriculum; this helps reinforce new vocabulary for students. Brigid sometimes continues her teaching in the evenings by tutoring students, but when she’s not working she will take advantage of the city and go out with friends. She hopes to make the most of her time abroad to travel to other countries as well. 

Of all her classes at Oakcrest, Brigid names Spanish as the one that impacted her the most. She vividly remembers her teacher’s encouraging and consistent teaching style, as well as the way she wove cultural education into the girls’ classes. “But truly,” Brigid notes, “So many teachers at Oakcrest influenced me through their constant joy, their energy, and their passion for learning.” Her favorite school memories include many other classes at Oakcrest, time spent with her friends (many of whom she’s still close with today), and anything involving Spirit Week—she especially loved leading the Green Team as Spirit Captain during her senior year. 

Brigid believes that the liberal arts education she received at Oakcrest prepared her very well for her studies in college. Not only that, but it helped form her as a person. “On a practical level, I felt very prepared to debate and to write cohesive essays when I entered college because of the education Oakcrest gave me,” she explains.  “I could formulate and articulate a logical argument better than many of my peers, and I felt very blessed for that. I think it also helped me to integrate my education more fully into my life, which helps me to appreciate things like cultural experiences even more. All in all, my Oakcrest education taught me the value of being well rounded, which consistently motivates me to learn.” 

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