The year is 2012. Mr. Nielson steps up to his piano, takes a deep breath, then lets his genius flow out through his melodic piano tune: “Sr. Paco tiene mandatos: de-este-vaya-sepa-sea.”

Connor Kerl ’15 sings along to the jingle in his Honors Spanish II class at Jesuit, helping him understand the Spanish subjunctive mood. Seven years later, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Spanish. How did he go from taking Spanish at Jesuit to declaring a Spanish major in college?

Kerl visited Jesuit this past Thursday, May 16, to speak to several Spanish classes about his journey from Jesuit to Collegiate Spanish, and the doors it has opened in the professional world.

Student Reflection

Silas Hartman ’20

“I learned that knowing and being able to speak Spanish in the business world can be an invaluable factor because that can be what separates you from someone else.

I have always thought that it would be interesting to study Spanish in college, so his presentation didn’t really change my mind. Rather, the presentation affirmed the idea that knowing Spanish can be very helpful in the real world.
My biggest takeaway was that I should try to retain at least some knowledge of Spanish because it can be helpful later in life.”

Jorge Rios ’22

I learned that being fluent in Spanish opens up many doors in the future. Mr. Kerl’s presentation made me look into studying Spanish in college, which I hadn’t really considered previously but could prove to be helpful for getting a job down the road.
My favorite part of the presentation was how he explained his personal Spanish journey. He started with Spanish I, like most Jesuit students, and developed his skills to be the fluent speaker and Spanish major he is today. It just goes to show that anyone can learn a language if they enjoy learning and set their minds to it, which was pretty inspiring.

Stay tuned to The Roundup for more Jesuit Dallas profiles!