Immediate Past President
Gina Gallo believes that language teachers are superhumans who make the world a better, brighter, and more compassionate place. Gina is a proud SCSU alumna and Italian teacher at Bristol Central High School. She is currently enrolled in an amazing Italian Literacy and Cultural Studies program at UCONN. Gina is a lifelong learner of Italian, a Latin newbie, and a lover of Spanish. Gina's goal is to maintain and grow Italian programs across the state.
Lorena has been an Italian teacher at Shelton High School for 15 years. She is the Advisor of the SHS Italian Club and co-founder of "La Casa Italiana" Summer Italian Camp. Her love for the Italian culture and language started at home with her Italian-born parents. She loves sharing her personal experiences and family stories with her students. These moments help keep her connected to her ancestors and allows her to educate her students with her first-hand, real-life experiences. Lorena hopes that all of her students will be able to appreciate and love Italian culture as her heart does.
Carla Destefanis is an Italian teacher of 11 years. Currently teaching at North Haven High School, she is also the co-advisor of the Italian Club. A daughter of two language teachers, she has the lessons she learned in her youth to spark her passion for not only the languages but the cultures of the world.
Louisa has been an Italian teacher at Staples High School in Westport since 2007. After graduating from college, she followed her heart and moved to Italy for 7 years, splitting her time between Roma, Firenze and Sorrento. Louisa is the advisor for the Circolo Italiano at SHS and has been collaborating with Centro la Tenda, a community center for at-risk children in Napoli, since 2006. Louisa is an advocate of world language studies and believes that acquiring a second language is the cornerstone to future international relations and creating well-rounded and worldly young adults.
Katharine Tavera Collins
Kate is an Italian teacher at Southington High School and is the Assistant Department Leader of the World Language Department at SHS, the co-advisor of Italian Club and Italian National Honors Society and is involved in many more school activities! Kate is dedicated to promoting a passion for the Italian language and culture, instilling a love of learning and helping students to become global citizens.
Leah is a graduate student at Southern Connecticut State University in the MA-Romance Languages Italian Program. Her love for Italian was sparked at a young age by her Italian-born grandparents. Leah chose to study Italian because she loves the culture, traditions, and language. She wants to share her passion and knowledge for it with others. Leah plans to teach Italian to high school students to show them the possibilities Italian has to offer.