Director: Brandon Norris

¡Saludos! My name is Brandon Norris. I’m a Spanish teacher at Short Pump Middle School in Richmond, Virginia. I’m thrilled to be returning for my sixth year working at the Spanish academy. I am fascinated by all languages and developed my passion for them when I attended the academy myself back in 2011, as it was a truly unforgettable experience. As director, I hope to impart this same level of excitement for language to the students. In my free time I enjoy sipping coffee while chatting with friends or reading in a foreign language. I also love doing adventurous activities like rock climbing, white water rafting, and kayaking.
Profesora principal: Sidney Cintrón

I am an enthusiastic high school Spanish educator at Stafford High School in Stafford County Schools. I have a Bachelors of Arts with a concentration in Spanish and a Masters of Education with a concentration in Foreign Language Education. I am a traveler fanatic, in love with the world. When possible, I enjoy exploring everything that different countries have to offer. I am an educator that is fascinated by what knowing a second language can offer the learner; I enjoy expanding their horizons to open multiple doors to unlimited opportunities. One of my personal goals is to extend the opportunity to language learners in any way from advice, influence, education, or via mentorship.
Profesor: Scott Youngdahl

My name is Scott Youngdahl. I teach Spanish and coach boys’ soccer at Rockbridge County High School. At the Governor’s School I will teach Japanese. After majoring in Spanish and minoring in Japanese at UT-Austin, I lived in northern Japan and taught English for two years on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program, where I met my wife, an elementary school teacher from North Carolina. After Japan, we lived and taught English in Puebla, Mexico, as well. I have taught Spanish and Japanese at the middle school, high school, and university levels, and I have a Masters and Ph.D. in Spanish from UNC- Chapel Hill. Guitar and music have always been passions of mine, and I look forward to working with “La Tuna”—the vocal and instrumental music group of the Academy.


Profesora: Aída Abarca

¡Hola! I’m Aída Abarca. I was born in El Salvador but have lived in Northern Virginia since 2001. I attended George Mason University where I earned a BA and MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish Literature. I have experience teaching Spanish to second language learners and heritage speakers. Some of my interests include traveling, hiking, reading, and dining out. This summer I look forward to teaching about the music of the Spanish-speaking world.
Profesora: Meghan Depue

Hi! I’m Meghan Depue, and I will be teaching a class on the history of the Spanish Civil War. This year will be my sixth year working at the Spanish Academy, and I also attended as a student in 2014. I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Spanish and a Master’s in Elementary Education. For the past two years I have worked as a middle school Spanish teacher in Henrico County. In my free time, you can find me singing, reading, dancing, and most importantly, drinking coffee. I cannot wait to enjoy this year’s Academy with all of you!
Profesor: Vicente Colón

My name is Vicente L. Colón and I am a native Spanish speaker born and raised in Puerto Rico. I attended the University of Puerto Rico where I obtained my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I have experience teaching business law and Spanish. I live with my lovely family in Southside, Virginia. I enjoy reading, art and nature.