In order to share more of our amazing community here at SD, we offer this weekly #FacesOfSD to give you a chance to learn more about our faculty and staff. Today, we are thrilled to introduce Ximena Bervejillo, Lower School Spanish Teacher.
Ximena was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, in a family of nine children. “I'm number 8,” she says. Growing up, she attended one school through high school, called “Colegio y Liceo Santa Rita,” from the Augustinian Order. After graduating from high school, she took a gap year, because she says she wasn't very sure of what she wanted to study. During that year, she trained every day for discus throwing, worked in different, short-term jobs, and did some teaching too. She then studied Communications at the “Universidad Católica del Uruguay,” and, at the same time, she studied German, and got her diploma, as a German teacher. She worked for many years teaching German in elementary and high schools, until she moved to the United States, to teach Spanish and German. In the meantime, she got married, and had three children, Magdalena, Inés, and Agustín. Outside of teaching, Ximena has played soccer, at the Marin Women's Soccer League, run two, half marathons, developed her career as a singer, trained and mentored Spanish teachers, and says she has learned so many great things and met wonderful people from all over the world. Today, she is happy to be working at San Domenico and to be living in Fairfax. When possible, she very much enjoys “visiting my big family, in Uruguay, and spending time with my mother, my siblings, and all my nephews, nieces, and their own children.”
Q. Full name?
A. María Ximena Bervejillo Terra
Q. Where were you born?
A. Montevideo, Uruguay
Q. Favorite word?
A. More than a word...“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” - Aristotle
Q. What do you do here at San Domenico? And what is your favorite part of your job?
A. I teach Spanish K-5. I guess my favorite part is to do just what I do. I love teaching this age, interacting with the children, in the classroom and also outside, during recess and after school. I enjoy their sense of humor, their questions, their imagination, and capacity to dream and create wonderful things.
Q. Which Dominican value inspires you the most this week and why? (Study, Reflection, Community, or Service?)
A. Community. I feel the sense of community all around campus, and it reminds me of my years at school, back in Uruguay.
Q. What might an average weekend look like, for you?
A. On Saturdays, I usually go to my chorus practice. Then, I do some shopping, and later go for a hike and maybe to the movies. On Sunday, I usually go to church, and then spend time with my family, either at home, or we’ll go out all together. I usually do some cooking for the week too. But sometimes I'm too lazy for that, and I prefer to enjoy the outdoors instead.
Q. List 1-3 of your most significant personal accomplishments, to date.
A. Being the mother of three wonderful human beings. Moving my whole family to the United States to start a new life here - and succeeding! I guess another accomplishment can be that, at least once, I was able to hear myself sing on the big screen, when I recorded a song for a movie.
Q. List 1-3 of your most significant professional and/or academic accomplishments, to date.
A. It gives me great sense of satisfaction to be able to help and support new Spanish teachers, with my more than 20 years of experience, teaching foreign languages, either through mentoring or through seminars. For eight years, I was simultaneously the German and Spanish teacher from 1-8, at a Waldorf School, in Marin. That gave me great flexibility. It strengthened my skills and made me very resilient when things didn't go as well as I wanted.
Q. What was your best, professional "I wish someone had seen this" moment?
A. There is not one best professional moment. Every time in class, when the students discover that they “get it,” and they have big smiles on their faces and feel accomplished - I enjoy that as much as they do.
Ximena, from the warmth with which you greet students at the top of the hill every morning, to the passion and experience you bring to your teaching, thank you. We are so grateful to have you as part of our community!