Foreign Language Department

Learning a foreign language will expose you to new cultures and expand your worldview. JCA’s Foreign Language Department challenges students to think differently and  broaden their learning spectrum.

The department is led by a native of France and other internationally connected faculty. Incoming freshmen may choose from French or Spanish. Different approaches to learning such as opportunities for travel abroad and National French and Spanish Contests which entice students to continue their foreign language studies all four years of high school.

JCA’s foreign language teachers help to prepare students for college and beyond by discussing the different languages and their advantages to certain professions.

Whether studying French or Spanish, students:

  • Learn to become proficient
  • Enroll in a program leading to Advanced Placement courses
  • Have opportunities to travel abroad
  • Become part of a language club and honor society
  • Discover the vast world of French and Spanish countries


Florence Austrums, Department Chair, holds a Master of Arts in English and a degree in International Business from the Universite Catholique de L’Ouest, in  Angers, France. She has received several awards from the Association of Teachers of French for outstanding results in the National French Contest.

Jeannie Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Math with a minor in Spanish from the University of St. Francis. Mrs. Bell received her Certificate in Education (6-12) from the University of St. Francis and was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Richard Capalbo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Spanish from DePaul University. Mr. Capalbo received his Certificate in Secondary Education from DePaul University, a Service Award from Immaculate Heart of Mary High School in Westchester, Ill. and was in named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Dr. Dennis Czerny holds a Doctorate in English, Latin, and Psychology from Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois. He has been recognized twice as Teacher of the Year at local schools.

Kathrine Drabik has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Secondary Education from Grove City College. Ms. Drabik received a Certificate in Secondary Education for Spanish from Crove City College. She was Spanish Student of the Year at Wheaton North High School and a member of the Spanish Honor Society in high school and college.

Mary Ann Worst holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with French and English minors from Lewis University. Mrs. Worst received her Certificate in Secondary Education from Lewis University. She has taught in bi-lingual programs (ESL), programs for gifted students, college adult programs and introduced a mini program of learning Spanish into the area of Early childhood Education. She has also worked for the State of Illinois as a evaluator for children in a program called the “The Prevention of early School Failure” for children coming from a bi-lingual background and helped to write a curriculum for this program.

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