Sarah Vander Laan, curriculum design and professional learning specialist

Sarah lives by these words:

“Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

addalingua curriculum developer and instruction specialist Sarah Vander Laan provides instructional support to partner schools via email, office hours, and workshops, and molds strong addalingua relationships with schools all over the country. When working with Sarah, count on an insightful perspective gained from teaching immersion education in a variety of contexts and a steadfast commitment to supporting teachers with resources and professional learning to make sure that ALL students experience success in the immersion program.

Sarah began her path towards immersion education first with her B.A. in Spanish K-12 education at Hope College and then with her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with a certificate in dual language and immersion education from the University of Minnesota. Before joining our team in the summer of 2018, she taught Spanish immersion for nearly all grades K-5 and even worked as a writer and co-facilitator here at addalingua. 

Sarah understands how important it is to provide teachers with immersion-specific professional development and support and uses her broad perspective of different teaching and learning contexts within a variety of grades (public, private, racially and culturally diverse student populations) to inform her work. She designs and delivers dynamic professional learning experiences specifically for our partner schools’ staff. Sarah values collaborating with program leaders to determine the direction the learning should go and using teacher feedback to inform next steps.

Sarah is grateful that addalingua cares deeply about supporting partner schools and teachers with immersion specific professional learning and support. As a fellow teacher, she understands the value of a professional support network and loves being a part of it!

Sarah and her husband love exploring new places, being outdoors, and reading. They are thrilled to be new parents and are committed to teaching their son to live with global empathy: to act justly, to love mercifully, and to walk humbly daily.

nickname: Sarah

signature dish: blueberry pie

super power: persistence

power play: being a new mom

favorite game to play: If she wants to have fun, she loves Taboo, but if she wants to play to win, running is her go-to competitive sport.

enneagram personality type: 9