Meet SHS’s new Spanish teacher
From childhood, Sara Kitzinger Anton knew she wanted to become a teacher. Her favorite pastime was playing “school” with her younger brother, with him as the naughty student and her as the teacher. Her mother was a teacher as well, who taught second grade for over twenty years.
Kitzinger Anton grew up in Germantown, and went to UW-Madison for her undergraduate and masters degrees. She triple-majored in Spanish, Education and English, and has masters in English as a Second Language (ESL) and teaching reading.
During her undergraduate studies, Kitzinger Anton spent a semester in Ecuador for study abroad. There, she lived with an Ecuadorian family that spoke no English.
“It was a lot of fun to just speak in Spanish and be totally immersed … it was incredibly eye-opening in so many different ways,” Kitzinger Anton said.
After finishing school, Kitzinger Anton did her first year of teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools, and then taught Spanish and ESL in Germantown for five years.
Kitzinger Anton first heard about Shorewood through a former ESL coordinator for the district, Ruth Hoenick, who was also one of Kitzinger Anton’s favorite professors.
“She always talked about what positive student-centered experiences she had here, and how it was really very much this collaboration between the community and the schools, to really do the best for the students, and I thought [that Shorewood] sounded like heaven on earth … so when I saw a job come up here, I could not pass up applying for it,” Kitzinger Anton said.
Kitzinger Anton said that she enjoys connecting with her students and learning about the different cultures they have experienced.
“I really enjoy being able to share different cultures with students. It’s just being able to feel like you can … gain an appreciation and a respect for another culture and how the language fits together, so that’s definitely my favorite part [of being a teacher],” Kitzinger Anton said.
Kitzinger Anton looks up to her mom as a role model, both as a teacher and as a person.
“She is very patient, she’s very kind, she’s very calm; I’m not nearly as patient or kind or calm as her, but that’s why I look up to her, because I want to be like that. I aspire to be a better person. I love watching her teach, and I also love watching her play with my kids … she’s just a really great person inside and outside of the classroom,” Kitzinger Anton said.
Kitzinger Anton lives in Thiensville with her two daughters: four-year-old Sofia and one-year-old Stella.
When asked about her favorite book, Kitzinger Anton didn’t hesitate to answer.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez … I read it first in English, when I was learning Spanish, then I read it when I was in college, in Madison, and then I read it again when I was living in Ecuador, and I read it in Spanish. And I’m going through it a fifth time right now. You’d think that reading the same book that many times would get boring, but there’s always different themes or imagery or motifs, just different cultural elements that you didn’t catch the first time or the third time,” Kitzinger Anton said.
Kitzinger Anton’s hobbies include spending time outdoors, gardening, swimming and going to the lake.
“Especially now that I’m working down here, you guys will find me on the beach, as much as I can,” Kitzinger Anton said.
Kitzinger Anton plans on taking a Master Gardener class this fall so that she can help other people grow different things in their yards, such as edible plants and flowers. Her kids also enjoy working in the yard with her.
“Even my one-year old will go out with the shovel and dig a little bit. She’ll eat dirt, too, but she’s learning!” Kitzinger Anton said.
by Ananya Murali