Assistant Academic Director, International Student Coordinator, Grade 7 Program Coordinator; Teacher of English as a Second Language, French 3, and French 5
When Jen Robillard’s twin boys were in seventh grade, she moved with them to France to allow each one to pursue his passion. Jack attended a ski school (similar to GMVS) in Bourg St. Maurice in the valley below Val d’Isere, and Eric attended le Nez dans les Etoiles, a circus school in Bourges. In order to accommodate both boys, Jack boarded at the Collège St Exupèry during the week and lived with a host family on Wednesday nights and weekends.
That year proved pivotal for Jen and her boys and has directly shaped the way she approaches her role at GMVS. “The families who took in my son really meant so much to me,” says Jen. “It’s scary to send your child away, and those families treated my son like one of their own. At GMVS, I try to do the same for our international students.”
Jen has taught at GMVS for more than 13 years, and she inspires everyone here with a remarkable passion for travel, adventure and learning. She’s bringing that passion into the classroom this year with a very special project.
In June of 2016, Jen received a GMVS professional development grant and attended the Introductory Workshop of the Breadloaf Translators’ Conference. She left the conference excited about the idea of incorporating translation into her classes and hopeful about finding a translation project over the summer to share with students during the school year.
During the summer, Jen spent three weeks in Beijing, China, where she worked for the Dartmouth Rassias program and taught English to Chinese students. While there, she connected with Natasha Maldi, a graduate of Dartmouth in Arabic studies. The two women agreed to join forces and translate Tazmamart Cellule 10 from French into English. (Ahmed Marzouiki’s Tazmamart Cellule 10 is a memoir of the 18 years he spent in the infamous jail of Tamamart in Morocco.)
This year, Jen will be inviting some of her French 5 students to help translate several sections of the book. Her goal is to give them a view into the role that language and translation plays in world events while also making them part of a culturally significant project. She plans to bring several sections of manuscript ready for review to the Advanced Workshop of the Breadloaf Translators’ conference in June of 2017.
More About Jen
Jen has been a faculty member at GMVS for 13 years, chairing the foreign language department and teaching French and English as a Second Language. Jen has held a number of other roles, including her position as the International Student Coordinator and the long-time Director of the 7th grade program. As the parent of a GMVS alumnus and the wife of a former GMVS ski coach, Jen brings a unique and important perspective to her leadership in the academic program. She understands both the challenges of ski academy life and the opportunities afforded by a GMVS education.
Jen holds a Bachelor’s degree in French and Education from Middlebury College and a Master’s degree from the well-respected St. Michael’s College program in the Teaching of English as a Second Language. She is a multi-lingual, seasoned world traveler who brings great dedication to the students and exceptional communication and organizational skills to the school. She is uniquely qualified for the work she does to manage enrollment, monitor student academic progress, and coordinating the daily comings and goings of our busy students.