Say “Hola” to Kevin Schnaser. Schnaser has been hired as the new Spanish instructor at MHS.
Schnaser lives in rural Revillo and served as a substitute teacher at Milbank High School for the past six years. He has also provided interpreter services for the Milbank Avera clinic and hospital. “I am very happy and excited to be part of the Milbank School District. It is a wonderful place to work and I am looking forward to working with the staff and kids.”
After completing several credit hours in Spanish at the University of South Dakota, Schnaser entered the Peace Corps and spent three months in tropical agriculture and Spanish training in Costa Rica. He then moved to Ecuador for two years and worked in an agriculturally-oriented secondary school in Manabi province. He spent the next nine months in Cotopaxi province working with subsistence cattle farmers in newly settled areas. “This was a complete immersion experience with little or no contact with Americans,” he explained.
A 15 year interlude of farming with his parents and on his own followed his return to the U.S. In 2000, Kevin began working as a tutor and English teacher in the Watertown School District. He worked with immigrant students who were new to the United States, had little English skills, and were native Spanish speakers. “Soon I began doing interpreting work for the district involving administrative interactions with parents of the students. This eventually led to interpreting activities on their behalf in legal and medical settings.”
In 2004, Kevin returned to full-time studies at South Dakota State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. During his studies, he was hired on a temporary basis as a Spanish instructor for one semester.
In 2005, he obtained his masters degree in Spanish from Minnesota State University in Mankato. He then returned to Brookings for a position as a full-time Spanish teacher at SDSU.
The Spanish language has taken him on travels to Argentina to act as an interpreter and guide. He also served in that role for three groups of Argentine ag producers in the United States.
“We are pleased to have Kevin join our school community,” stated Superintendent Tim Graf. “We hate to lose him as a sub, as he was very well liked, but are excited to have him as a staff member.”