Language Acquisition Faculty
Ms. Trisha Matelski - Spanish and Hispanic Culture
Since becoming a teacher in 2005, I have had the opportunity to teach every level of Spanish from Spanish 1 to Spanish for native speakers. I came from teaching Native Speakers in Southwest Detroit to come be a part of the WIHI program because I believe so strongly in the IB mission of creating global citizens. I received my Bachelor's in education from the University of Michigan and hold a Master of Arts in the Spanish language from Eastern Michigan University. I also have had the opportunity to study abroad, spending one summer in Spain and one summer in Mexico as well as having participated in over a dozen trips to Spanish speaking countries, either for service trips or for pleasure. Teaching and service are the two things that absolutely make me come alive and I am so excited to share that passion with the students here at WIHI and to broaden their horizons both within the classroom and within the context of international service trips. I could not be more thrilled to be part of the WIHI community and hope to instill my passion for the Spanish language and culture into all of my students.
Mr. Braun - Spanish and Hispanic Culture
Ever since I was in tenth grade, I have been completely in love with the Spanish language. I officially decided to become a Spanish teacher in my senior year of high school when my Spanish teacher led a week-long trip to Mexico. There, I was able to use the language in context for the first time while on a crazy-awesome adventure in a Spanish-speaking country. It was on that trip that I realized that learning a language could be a life changing experience. So, I decided to dedicate my life to becoming a fluent speaker of Spanish. Since then, my adventures have led me to more than a dozen different countries throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean- and I have loved every minute of it! From the beginning of my college experience until now, I have enjoyed teaching Spanish to every single grade level from kindergarten through college. Today, I teach Spanish because I know that learning the language directly contributed to me becoming a happier, more well-rounded person, and my desire is to pass this along to the students in my classes.
Ms. Katherine Beck - French and Francophone Culture
I teach all levels of French at WIHI and, after just one year with our incredible students, I can't imagine working anywhere else! I have experience teaching in both French and American schools - I taught English at a French high school after completing my bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan. I came back to Ann Arbor to complete my master's in education before starting at WIHI. I strive to make my classroom a total immersion environment where students can explore practices and perspectives that differ from their own. I was born and raised in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and studying a foreign language has literally opened up the world to me. I hope to show my students that studying French can unlock limitless opportunities.
When I'm not at school, I enjoy jogging along the Huron River and having leisurely brunches with family and friends.
Mrs. Taylor Liggett - Spanish & Hispanic Culture
My first experience learning Spanish was at an IB high school. There, I was completely amazed by how my language education opened the world up to me and encouraged me to explore new places and get to know new communities. To me, language acquisition is a subject that truly models what it's like to live with a growth mindset -- you can always learn more, and you learn best from your mistakes. It is a subject you keep with you for a lifetime. I graduated from Hope College, where I was involved in a Latino outreach program. I began teaching at WIMAHI in 2013. My career experience also includes managing an after school program for Spanish-speaking children and helping minor refugees from Central America find family in the United States. I am passionate about teaching Spanish, and more importantly, about creating a classroom atmosphere where students feel welcome and where they can continue to develop strong character. My husband and I live with our son in Milford, where we enjoy outdoor adventuring and picnics at Kensington Metropark. I am so glad to be back at an IB school helping students to acquire the same skills that helped me so much in high school and beyond.