Language Acquisition


Meet Your Teachers!

  Maria ALegre 
Arantxa Alegre: Spanish Language & Culture Honors, Spanish 2 

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I was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. As a child, I always felt intrigued by what the rest of the world would look like influenced by all World Literature books I was constantly reading. I started traveling internationally very young (during my high school years). I studied Foreign Languages in college (Spanish and Arabic) and that took me to the best experiences of my life. I completed the Master Degree and eventually I got my Ph.D. in Spain, also in Foreign Languages. I had the wonderful opportunity to live in Egypt and Morocco for many years thanks to that. I decided to become an educator to teach languages and instill the love of learning about other cultures to my students. My teaching experience started in Spain when I was still a graduate student, but it continued in Egypt and Morocco as well.

Later on, in my life, I decided to try my luck in the United States. And here I am. It’s been almost 20 years for me already in this country, that accepted me as a citizen in 2013. Around 2012, I took a break and went to live in France for a year. Yes, that would be the fifth country I have lived in, including my own. I have taught in many states in the U.S., in college (private and public), in schools (private and public). I am a certified court interpreter for the State of Maryland and I also work as a consultant for ACTFL. So, I think it would safe to say that that learning about other cultures and teaching and using languages is in my blood. I am very aware of what it takes to learn another language!!!

I still enjoy traveling, especially internationally. Among other interests, I love cooking, photography, dancing tango, scuba diving, sky diving, running and swimming, films, family, friends… I hope you can enjoy the experience of learning another language and culture the same way I did!! It’s priceless!!!

   Susana Bukowski
Susana Bukowski: Spanish 1, 2 

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I’ve been a Spanish teacher in the BCPS system for 15 years. Prior to coming to New Town, I taught at Ridgely Middle School for 4 years and before that Western Tech for 9 years. I am a naturalized citizen, originally from Argentina. I grew up in a small resort town called San Carlos de Bariloche (Bariloche) in northern Patagonia on the border with Chile. Bariloche is a well-known ski resort and I used to be a ski instructor there while in high school. It’s a beautiful region that many compare to Switzerland. Here are some photos of Bariloche and the surrounding area: Bariloche 1 Bariloche 2 Bariloche 3 Bariloche 4


I came to the U.S as an exchange student for one year on my senior year in High School. My family is mostly Italian and Spanish in Argentina. I have two daughters. I am truly bilingual in Spanish and English. I am very active, I ski well and enjoy cycling and swimming. I love teaching and learning and I am very excited to teach at New Town HS this year. I am also working on National Board Certification, and I earned a master’s degree from Notre Dame of Maryland.

  Ajla Foco
Ajla Foco: Spanish 2 

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Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was born during the genocide war. After the war, the Bosnian economy was completely destroyed and many families including mine emigrated to the USA. My parents no longer saw a future for us in Bosnia and so in 2001 we moved to Maryland. In school, I took ESL classes where I learned English within 2 years. When I would come home from school, my sister and I had a ritual where we would watch Spanish soap operas until midnight and would even record episodes on our DVR that we either missed or really loved. That is how I learned Spanish and when my love for the language and different cultures started.

I wanted to share my unique passion for the language with others so that they also have a meaningful experience with it, so I decided to get my B.A. in Spanish Secondary Education at Towson University and am currently getting my masters in Educational Leadership there as well. This is my sixth year at New Town High and I hope to instill the same love and enthusiasm that I had for Spanish in my students.

   Terence Fomuso
Terence Fomuso

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   Sam Johnson  
Sam Johnson, Language Acquisition Department Chair: Spanish 1, Theory of Knowledge IB
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Being a Baltimore native (Go O's & Ravens), I was very fortunate to grow up learning a second language (Spanish). I completed my undergraduate degree at Towson University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature in 2015. During my time at TU, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid and Alicante, España. Since then, I worked as a Spanish teacher & Department Chair at Windsor Mill Middle School from 2015-2023. I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2020 through Goucher College, and will soon begin working on my Administrators certification.

Outside of the classroom, I am a world class drummer in the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, based in Vancouver Canada. I have won 2 Gold medals in Tenor Drumming as well as 2 World Drum Corps titles since 2019. I am also an adjudicator for the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association.

While I am new to New Town, I am excited to join this team and look forward to pushing our students to have the opportunity to become truly bilingual, as well as have the chance to earn a Seal of Biliteracy from the State of Maryland.

   Scott Maddox
Scott Maddox: Spanish Special Topics GT, Spanish 2 

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Originally from Lancaster, PA, I went to Millersville University and received a B.A. in Geography and minored in Spanish. In my senior year, I applied to the Peace Corps and did my senior thesis in Brazil. This was my first experience where I needed to speak another language in order to survive and communicate. I went on to serve three years in Honduras as a Peace Corps volunteer and a bilingual teacher. In this time, I fell in love with teaching others and learning new skills.  I have been at New Town for 14 years now and building relationships with wonderful students and staff. I hope that this year is filled joy and excitement as we continue our journey for the love of language.

  Stephanie Wells

Stephanie Wells: Spanish 1, Spanish 2

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Born in Michigan, I moved to Baltimore to attend college. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Morgan State University and a Master of Arts in Legal and Ethical Studies from University of Baltimore. At the age of 16, I studied at the American School in puebla, Mexico. I had no idea how that opportunity would positively impact my life. Since then, I have studied at the University of Nice in France; several years later, I studied in Panamá, Perú, and Colombia. Then, in 2019, I was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to study abroad in Colombia, South America.

I enjoy travelling, and over the years have travelled to 5 continents and visited 18 countries. I have worked as a Spanish teacher in BCPS for 7 years. I love people, languages, history, art, music, and culture! This is my first year at New Town High School, and I couldn't be more excited!


Questions? Contact Sam Johnson, Department Chair ([email protected])