About Us

Founded in 1986 as a non-profit language school and center for cultural exchange, Penobscot Bay Language School has served over 6,000 locals and over 500 international students of all ages through language classes and cultural programming. Over three decades later we continue to promote our mission: To develop and provide opportunities for the people of Midcoast Maine and around the World to explore our shared experience on Earth through the study and celebration of language and culture.

Amy Ferlauto

Board President

Amy grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and San Juan, Puerto Rico and has lived in MidCoast Maine off and on since 1984, finally settling in Thomaston in 2002.  She has also lived in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic, and has travelled throughout Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and has a BA in Community Studies.  She has worked at Camden Hills Regional High School as a Spanish Teacher since 2007.  Prior to teaching at CHRHS, Amy was a social worker, working with immigrant families and gang affiliated youth in Santa Barbara, and homeless youth in Rockland.  She is continuing to study Italian, and has also studied Portuguese.  She is passionate about language learning, teaching and introducing the world to her students.

Amy has a daughter, Isabel, who is a 2019 graduate of Oceanside High School.  During the 2015-2016 school year Amy took a leave of absence from her job to live in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico with Isabel, who is half Mexican.  Amy wanted to give Isabel the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and to get to know her heritage and her Mexican side of the family.  While her daughter attended the local high school as a ninth grader, Amy taught at a language school, Cornerstone Idiomas, giving Spanish lessons to foreigners living in Barra.  Additionally, she gave English lessons to locals, and ran a group for teenagers called, “Todos somos americanos” (We Are All Americans).

Amy has been connected to the Penobscot School since 1992 when she first took an Italian class.  She has been the coordinator of two weekend Spanish Immersions at the school, and has volunteered with many other Spanish Immersions as well, including “Español en el bosque” at Tanglewood.  She is excited to be a new board member and to contribute to a school that has been such an integral part of our community for so many years.

    Samuel Huertas

    Member at Large, Acting Treasurer

    Sam was raised in south Florida in a Colombian family. He learned English when he started elementary school, and began studying French at a young age. Growing up in a place where many languages are spoken he developed an interest in learning foreign languages.

    He attended Northeastern University in Boston where he studied Sociology and Anthropology, and traveled to Germany and Russia and participated in programs to learn those respective languages.

    Sam moved to the midcoast during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and began his language-teaching career at Camden Hills Regional High School where he taught high school Spanish. He now teaches K-8 Spanish at Lincolnville Central School. Local connections and his lifelong passion for languages led him to the Penobscot Language School, and continues driving his involvement in language acquisition throughout Maine.

      Eleanor Motley Richardson

      Secretary

      Eleanor Motley Richardson is a well-known author of local history.  She and her husband Peter retired to a Rockland house built by his great-grandfather in 1882.  A German major, she first studied 3 years of Latin and 9 years of French.  COVID inspired her to dig into Spanish.  She is a regular attendee in Billy Smith’s Tertulia classes on Tuesdays, and went to Málaga Spain in March 2023 to further her studies.  Professionally, she served as an organist and choir director for 30 years.  Curious about what was inside the instrument, she became an organ builder for 7 years before her retirement.

        Tegwyn Hearst

        Student Board Representative

          Ewa Jemioła

          Since the beginning of my professional career I have been involved in the engineering world. My Masters of Science in Engineering degree is in Land Surveying and Property Valuation.
          I am a native Polish speaker, fluent in English and a beginner in German, Russian and French. I am someone who enjoys learning, working around people and I consider myself to be a team player.
          I am a licensed Professional Land Surveyor in the State of Maine but currently living in the state of Washington.

            Nayara Carrilho

            Nayara is a journalist, actress, TV & Cinema producer, mother, and is passionate about teaching the Portuguese language. Born in the state of Rio de Janeiro where she studied journalism and performing arts, she also worked as a reporter for some newscasts in Rio. She worked as a Marketing Analyst at a German company, where she had the opportunity to live in Hong Kong for 4 months, and travel to Thailand, Italy, Colombia and other countries with the purpose of assisting her co-workers in communicating English to Portuguese and vice versa. Nayara lives with her family in Florida, in the United States for 10 years. She currently works as a teacher of Portuguese and Brazilian culture at Penobscot Language School.

              Leslie Chavez

              Leslie has been part of a transborder lifestyle since childhood. She was born in San Diego, California but raised between the San Diego, California and the Tijuana, Mexico border. She has focused on the Romance Languages of Italian, Spanish, and French independently and trans-culturally for a total of 8 years at Cal State University, Long Beach, Campus L’Infinito found in Recanati, Italy and Scuola Leonardo da Vinci’s Rome location. She holds a Masters of Arts in Italian Studies and a double Bachelor of Arts in French & Francophone Studies and Italian Studies. She taught Italian and Spanish at CSULB as a Teacher Associate and has recently begun involving herself more in tutoring, translation and interpreting projects. Therefore, learning languages, connecting languages and applying different teaching methodologies are not only a part of a career path, but a bucket of hobbies. When tending to her mental and physical health, she practices yoga, explores coffee shops, galleries, landmarks, abandoned cultural marks, hikes, journals, travels and spends time with her loved ones. Exploring serves her curiosity of discovering what is beyond a routinely comfort zone. While traveling allows her to emerge herself in any given country’s language and culture, and has broadened her perspective on the importance of placing others' norms and customs in consideration during any given time, place, or situation.

                Carlos Guerra

                Carlos is from Colombia, South America. He moved to the US five years ago and currently lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. He is very passionate about teaching, especially when he can be instrumental in helping someone master the art of speaking a new language. After earning a college degree, Carlos started teaching ESL in high school and at a University in Barranquilla, Colombia. He became a Language and Culture Facilitator for the Peace Corps where he was responsible for improving Spanish for the volunteers, and at the same time enriched their experience by exposing them to Colombian culture. After four years of working with the Peace Corps, he decided to come to the USA to work as a High School Spanish teacher. Most recently, he has created content for a Youtube Channel with the goals of helping a wider range of students improve their Spanish. His personal interests include fitness and nutrition, and he is a Certified Zumba Instructor. Carlos loves being at the beach and has two cats.

                  Camille Socarras

                  Camille earned her BA and MA from the University of Iowa, focusing her studies on French and Francophone language, literature, and culture. She was raised bilingually speaking Spanish and English and was drawn to all things French from a young age. She has taught a wide range of ages and levels - young elementary school through early graduate-level - and was as surprised as anyone at how much she loves to teach. Camille is currently pursuing a PhD from Florida International University in Global and Sociocultural Studies which allows her to explore the intersections of her many interests.

                    Jackie Sorci

                    Jackie is from Central New York and currently lives in a small town outside of Syracuse, NY with her family. She is of Italian descent and because of her family’s heritage, she has a passion for the Italian language and culture. She studied Spanish and French in high school but had to study Italian on her own as it was not offered in school. Once a student at Syracuse University she began her Italian studies, graduating with a dual major in Italian Language and Literature and Religion. During her undergraduate career, she was offered a job by her mentor/professor to teach Italian in the SU Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Department where she has been for over 20 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Romance Studies (Italian / Spanish Language and Literature), and studied at Middlebury College Language Schools pursuing a Doctorate in Modern Languages (Italian and Spanish). Jackie is fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, lived and studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and travels to Italy often to see friends and family. She has a passion for learning as well as teaching and loves passing that excitement on to her students. Jackie teaches all levels of Italian from beginner to advanced at Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College, and currently serves as Vice President of ITACNY (Italian Teachers of Central New York).

                      Irene A. Marchenay

                      Irene is a native French speaker, born and raised in Paris until the age of 12, her family settled later in Savoie, where she discovered her love of nature. Lycée in Chambéry and University in Lyon. She came to the USA as a young adult to further her studies. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education and French from Elmira College and a Masters in Literature from Cornell University. She has taught French at Cornell University before moving to Maine where she taught at the University of Southern Maine until she switched gears and started to teach at the high school level. She is a past president of the American Association of Teacher of French, past president of the Foreign Language Association of Maine, and a National Board Certified teacher. She loves to share her passion for travelling with young students as well as adults and has taken groups to Quebec, Martinique and of course France. 20 trips to date! Irene is now retired after 40 years of teaching full time but is not done yet sharing her love of the French language. She has two very athletique grown children, two adorable grand-children and lives in Edgecomb, Maine with her husband and a cat.

                        Clovis Anjard

                        Clovis Anjard is from Normandy, France and moved to the French island of Reunion when he was 10 years old. He earned a B.A. in English and a Master's degree in intercultural studies with a focus on English and American studies, then participated in a teach abroad program that led him to Penobscot Language School 10 years ago.  Clovis was an instructor at the University of Georgia for two years, and has since moved back to the midcoast. Outside of the classroom and work, he enjoys hiking, camping, and cooking foods from all horizons.

                          Silvia Carrier

                          Born and raised in Germany, Silvia received her college degree in architecture in Dortmund, Germany and practiced architecture both in Germany and the United States before pursuing and receiving a teaching certification in German and Art. Silvia has taught various levels of German to students and adults. She travels to Germany and Italy regularly to visit family.

                            Sachiko Clough

                            Sachiko Clough is originally from Osaka. B.A. German, Kyoto University of Foreign Language Studies. She is a certified Japanese language teacher and also holds licenses in Ikebana and Japanese tea ceremony.  In addition to her work at Penobscot Language School, Sachiko currently teachers in RSU 2.

                              Stephanie De La Hoz

                              Stephanie De La Hoz was born in the Philippines and fluently speaks English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Tagalog. Stephanie earned a Bachelor’s Degree at Florida International University with a Major in Spanish Education and a Minor in Italian. She studied abroad in Italy and upon graduation she became a high school teacher for both languages (Spanish/Italian). Later on she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia where she trained English teachers in methodology and best practices. She possesses a professional teaching certificate in Spanish, Italian, and ESOL and currently lives in Tampa with her husband and daughter.

                                Anna Mordik

                                Anna was born and raised in Russia where she studied the English and Korean languages at the Kazan Federal University. Anna has traveled to almost all of Europe, Eastern Asia and Ukraine. During college she spent a semester in Korea studying a diverse culture and language. Anna been in the United States since early 2019 where she fell in love and got married. She has been immersed into American culture and is looking forward to learn more about it. She a happy outgoing person who loves to help others and teach.

                                  Eleonora Mella

                                  Eleonora Mella taught all levels of Italian at Penobscot Language School in 2012-13 and has recently taught at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. She studied foreign languages at the University of Padova and can speak English, German and basic Spanish and Norwegian.

                                    Silvia Senosk

                                    Silvia Senosk is a French and Spanish instructor and interpreter. A venturesome spirit, originally from Mexico City, she has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, the US, and numerous other countries, honing her linguistic skills and eventually settling in Burgundy (France) in 2017 for work and studies. She holds a bachelor's degree in Translation & Interpreting at Universidad Tecnologica Americana in Mexico City and a DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française) certificate. When she is not working with students at Penobscot Language School she enjoys dancing salsa, doing yoga, watching horror movies, going to museums and attending concerts and events. She has been living in Maine since 2019.

                                      Nadia Smith

                                      Despite being a Maine native, Nadia Smith has been speaking French with near fluency from a young age.  Her two younger brothers and father are from Caen, France, and having to communicate only in French with her monolingual brothers has shaped her precise pronunciation. She has furthered her fluency in French by spending summers in Caen with her family for several years, working as an au pair for children in Tours, France, and regularly visiting family in Normandie for holidays.  She previously taught English as an ESL teacher in Tours, France, where she was able to develop her teaching skills. Nadia also speaks fluent German and studied at Goethe Intitut auf München in Munich, Germany.

                                        William Smith

                                        Billy Smith's family goes back to the Spanish explorer, Cabeza de Vaca.  He travels to República Dominicana each year to visit with relatives.  Billy considers being bilingual a practice that is continually evolving. He holds the Diploma en Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) from the Ministry of Education of Spain. In his teaching, Billy assists students to become clear and accurate speakers.

                                          Nanfei Wang

                                          Born in the Tonghua City, Jilin Province, People's Republic of China, Nanfei is a trained artist with a fine arts degree from Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin, and a MFA in painting, drawing and sculpture from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Nanfei has taught at Penosbcot Language School for several years and was recently an instructor at the school's Culture Camp for Kids.