French Academy Director – Danielle Karaky
My name is Danielle Diab Karaky. I am a native Lebanese francophone. I grew up in Lebanon speaking both French and Arabic in a full immersion
setting and acquired the love of learning languages at a young age. My early career didn’t start in education. In Lebanon, I studied Agriculture
Engineering and received a scholarship from the French Government to complete my graduate studies in Montpellier-France in Rural Development. In Lebanon, I worked for the United Nations Program and the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture as a Senior Consultant for various projects in administration, operation, preparing and implementing development projects. When I moved to the United States, I taught French classes at Purdue University in Indiana. I loved the experience tremendously, thus I decided to switch careers to teach French. I earned a master’s degree in French Literature and Education from Purdue while teaching at the same time. I’ve been enjoying teaching for over twenty-three years. Currently, I am teaching at Washington-Liberty HS in Arlington, and I have been the World Languages Department chair for thirteen years. I joined the French Academy two years ago as a French and Arabic teacher and am extremely excited this year for my new role as the director. I am looking forward to welcoming our new Francophone scholars and embarking upon an unforgettable journey with them!
German Academy Director – Johnatan Wilkey
My name is Johnatan Wilkey. I am a German teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools. I avidly follow the German Bundesliga. My favorite
soccer club is Borussia Dortmund. (Heja BVB! Schwarz gelb allez!) I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in German.
I am the Vorplatter of Richmond’s traditional German/Bavarian dancing group, the Hirschjäger. My mother’s side of the family moved to Germany
from Poland forty years ago. My mom and grandparents live in the town of Hanau, twenty minutes outside of Frankfurt. On my yearly trips back
to Germany to visit my family, I have also spent extended periods of time in Austria and Switzerland with day trips to Liechtenstein for good measure. In my free time, I like to hike, bike, run, play soccer, and play video games (zocken). I am super excited to share my passion for German with everyone!
Spanish Academy Director – Janey Guillen
My name is Janey Guillen. I am a Spanish teacher in Henrico County and an active medical interpreter and legal translator in the Richmond area.
I graduated from VCU’s translation and interpretation training program. My own experience as a student at the Academy in 2012 introduced me
to rueda de casino, a Cuban dance related to salsa, which encouraged me to explore Spanish and Caribbean music. This experience left such
an impact upon me that I now teach Cuban dance in Richmond. I have led the chorus, La Tuna, and taught music history at the Academy in the
past and am honored to step into the role of director for the first time this year.