Meet – Eileen Payst, Spanish Teacher

What is your education background?

I attended the College of Saint Rose and then SUNY Albany for graduate school.  I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and language became a passion too.

What is your background like – previous jobs?

I am originally from Duanesburg, and had been living in Rochester, NY for the past 10 years, teaching in a suburb, Webster, NY.  I wanted to move back to the capital region to be closer to my family again and was so lucky this job was available and the perfect fit for me!  I started learning Spanish in high school and became fluent when I lived in Spain for six months in 2002, during college.  I also studied in Costa Rica for a month in grad school.

What are your interests outside of school?

I travel often.  I try to go on a big trip every summer.  Two years ago, I did a hiking pilgrimage called the Camino de Santiago- over 500 miles across northern Spain.  This past summer I stayed in the US and did a 20-day road trip- hiked and camped in four national parks and visited many cities (Nashville, San Antonio, New Orleans, and others).  I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a senior in high school and have lived with it healthily for 17 years.  I wear an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor.  This is a huge part of who I am and I try to be active in the Type 1 community in the US.

I am excited to become a part of the New Lebanon community and share my passion for inspiring students to learn Spanish!