Jessica Román Moctezuma
Position: Head of the Spanish Department and Upper School Spanish Teacher
Universities & Grades: BA Hispanic Studies from the Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Río Piedras
MA Puerto Rican and Caribbean Literature from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe
Jessica Román started working when she was 16 years old marketing Superior notebooks made in Puerto Rico. Who knew this job would foreshadow all the notebooks she would review later in her career as a Spanish teacher? After serving as the Education and Prevention Coordinator of Fundación de SIDA de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico AIDS Foundation), an opportunity to become a Robinson teacher opened up and we were lucky enough to hire her as our new Continental Spanish teacher for students whose first language is not Spanish.
Over her 12 years at Robinson, she has experienced lots of changes at the school. “At the curricular level, the school is always evolving to stay on the cutting edge of a global education.” Multilingual communication is increasingly important in today’s globalized society, both professionally and personally. “The Secondary School Spanish Department has become more rigorous to compete effectively on a global scale,” she noted.
Jessica believes that Robinson is unique because the people who work here create a familiar environment. “We are one big family, we always help one another and collaborate with each other,” she said. Jessica understands the Robinson mission of community and service as an integral part of our identity as an institution, especially as we begin to reflect on our 115-year history.
Her first year working here she taught a 3rd grade class that didn’t speak a word of Spanish. “I still have students from that class who thank me whenever they see me because they were able to graduate from a regular, not Continental, Spanish class.” One of her biggest projects here at Robinson is coordinating Semana Puerorriqueña (Puerto Rican Culture week). “Our culture is very important and just as I’m a lover of literature, I’m a lover of culture, particularly Puerto Rico’s culture.” This Semana Puertorriqueña (titled Celebra a Puerto Rico or Celebrate Puerto Rico in English), Robinson wishes to celebrate our culture from every perspective: music, food, dance, art and literature in honor of our shared Puerto Rican identity.