Foreign Language Spotlight

Foreign Language

Meet the Faculty

Department Head: Luz Vargas

My name is Luz Vargas and I am teaching Honors Spanish 2, AP Spanish Language, and AP Spanish Literature to students in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. I earned a Master’s Degree in Spanish Language and Culture from Universidad de Salamanca in Spain and a BA from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional in Bogotá, Colombia. This is my 19th year teaching at Sequoyah High School, my 21st year teaching in Georgia and my 26th year in the teaching profession. My interest in languages developed in high school when I became passionate about French and English. I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, South America, and I have been living in the United States for 25 years. I live with my husband Chris in Cherokee County and I have a son Nicholas currently attending Georgia State University. In my classes this year, we will continue providing opportunities to communicate and to appreciate Spanish language, culture and literature. We will practice language skills daily in order to develop proficiency and success as speakers of a second language for the personal and professional journeys of my students. Since 2008, my students have been competing in the National Spanish Exam. Last year 49 students from my Spanish 2 Honors classes took the exam with 4 students winning gold medals, 10 students winning silver medals, 13 students winning bronze medals and 12 students receiving honorable mention. I am happy and excited about my profession, and what I love most about teaching is the daily interaction with my students in class. You can contact me at

Courses Offered


In fall 2017, Luz Vargas, Spanish teacher  was honored as the Georgia World Language Teacher for the month of October.

In 2016, 49 students in Spanish 2 Honors classes took the National Spanish Exam with 4 students winning gold medals, 10 students winning silver medals, 13 students winning bronze medals and 12 students receiving honorable mention.

Melissa Burns

Hola and Bonjour! My name is Melissa Burns; I teach French and Spanish at Sequoyah High School. I teach French 1 and Spanish 1. I grew up in Roswell and started studying Spanish in the sixth grade at Mimosa Elementary school; I attended Crestwood High School. At the University of Georgia, I got my Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Spanish, and my Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages & Linguistics. My Master’s thesis is a comparative analysis between the subjunctive mood in French and Spanish tracing its evolution from Latin.  I started my teaching career at several universities including the University of Georgia, West Georgia University, Georgia Tech, and Kennesaw State University. I received my teaching certification from West Georgia; after that, I began teaching French and Spanish at the high school level. I am a member of several professional organizations like Alliance Française of Atlanta, and several Foreign Language teaching associations. Learning other languages gave me opportunities that I would not have had, like studying and working in France and Spain. I enjoy teaching French and Spanish because I believe we benefit many ways by learning other languages. Contact me at

Jennifer Loudermilk

My name is Jennifer Loudermilk and I am currently teaching Workplace Spanish 1, Spanish 2 and 3 at Sequoyah High. I currently hold a B.S. Modern Languages and Cultures from Kennesaw State University. I have been teaching either Spanish, Music or Drama for the last 10 years. Prior to teaching, I held a successful career in the insurance industry but I was missing my true calling. I plan to continue my own education by working to obtain my master’s degree in Instructional Technology at Kennesaw State. I am constantly striving to incorporate more meaningful technology in my courses which I hope will be of assistance once I begin my master’s degree program. When I am not teaching I can often be found acting or singing. I love to travel both inside and outside of the United States as well as do humanitarian work in underprivileged countries. I am also the owner of a Wheaten terrier “Dougie” who has an overabundance of energy for everything and everyone. Contact me at

Jennifer Russell

Jennifer Russell has a bachelor’s in Modern Languages and Culture with a concentration in French Education from Kennesaw State University. She is gifted certified and holds an MIE certification through Microsoft. Jennifer teaches all levels of French in our World Languages Department at Sequoyah High School and teaches a French 1 level class at Dean Rusk Middle School. Jennifer is the Winter Guard Sponsor for our Junior Chiefs, Junior Varsity, and Varsity levels. She also assists with Basketball Cheerleading in the spring and Marching Band in the fall.
Jennifer lives in Cherokee County with her husband Craig who teaches fourth grade in Fulton County. You can contact her at

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My name is Greg Ross. I have a B.A. in history from Georgia State University and M.A. in adolescent education from Kennesaw State University. I am AP and gifted-ed certified. I have taught Latin at Sequoyah for twenty years. I have been honored as Teacher of the Valedictorian, Teacher of the Salutatorian, and Star Teacher. Seven students under my instruction from Sequoyah have been selected for the prestigious Governor’s Honors Program. Contact me at

Rachel LaChine

Rachel LaCline is a Cherokee County native and highly involved in Sequoyah’s extra-curricular activities. She is the Basketball Cheerleading coach and sponsor of the spirit club and one of the pep rally coordinators. Rachel teaches Spanish in our World Languages Department and is the program instructor for one of Sequoyah’s career pathways. As the instructor for the Teaching as a Profession Pathway, Rachel provides students with hands-on experience in the classroom setting for those that are interested in becoming future teachers and/or coaches. Rachel is a graduate of Woodstock High School, Georgia College and State University, has a Masters in Secondary Education. She also has an ESL Endorsement Certificate. Contact her at

Laura Sanders

My name is Sra. Sanders. I am a Georgia State Graduate with a BA in Journalism and minor in Spanish. I later went on to get my teaching certificate in Spanish grades K-12. I am Sequoyah High School alumni, graduating as the Valedictorian for the class of 2002. I have spent extensive time abroad, including a year in Spain teaching English. I am the recipient of two PET grants in Education and sponsor of the Spanish Club. I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at Georgia Southern, the graduating class of Spring 2018. Contact me at

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My name is Jamie Vega and I have been teaching Spanish for seven years. I have taught Spanish I, II, V, and AP and I absolutely love teaching Spanish. My sophomore year of college, I was able to study abroad in Costa Rica and Spain for a semester each. It was there that I was able to gain true fluency in the Spanish language. In 2010, I graduated from Georgia State with a B.A. in Spanish with a concentration in teaching. I received the Dr. Carol Semonsky Award for excellence in Foreign Language Education. This past school year, I was awarded Teacher of the Year for the State of Georgia for AATSP. I just graduated in May from the University of West Georgia with a M.Ed. in Instructional Technology. I have many passions and traveling is one of them. I have been able to travel to nine Spanish speaking countries. I live here in Canton with my husband Greivin and our daughter Daniela.  Contact me at