Meet the Language Department
David Lucil, 6th and 7th Grade Spanish Teacher
Madeline Alford, Spanish 1 Teacher
Dr. Kappy Riker, Spanish 3 and Heritage 2 Teacher
¡Hola! Dr. Kappy Riker has been teaching at CCPS for twelve years! She has taught a range of classes during her tenure here, and is currently teaching Spanish 3 and Heritage 2. She loves teaching and has taught in a variety of settings, including universities, colleges, public, private, and charter schools. She is grateful for our wonderful students here at Cottonwood! Over the years she has lived in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Guatemala. She loves learning about new cultures and interacting with people. In her spare time, she really enjoys biking on the Bosque trails, walking, swimming, reading, and gardening.
Mr. Mike Ziemniak, Exploring French and IB French
Mike Ziemniak is the teacher of Exploring French and IB French Ab Initio 1 & 2 at CCPS. He learned French while living in Geneva, Switzerland, and has experience teaching in Missouri, Colorado, and most recently, Abu Dhabi, UAE. He enjoys travel, skiing, hiking, and spending time with his dog, Clover. His classroom philosophy is centered on communicative language usage and input-heavy lessons. He aims to foster a lifelong love of language learning and cultural understanding in his students.
Ms. Melissa Torres, Spanish 2 and IB Spanish Teacher; ELL Coordinator; Languages Department Chair
Melissa Torres is in her 21st year of teaching Spanish. She is originally from Nebraska, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish Education. She completed a Master’s degree at the University of New Mexico in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies. Melissa has studied abroad at El Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Queretaro, Mexico and at the University of Salamanca, in Salamanca, Spain. She has taught in Nebraska and New Mexico, both in public and private schools. Melissa currently teaches Spanish II, IB Spanish B Year 1, is the Languages Department Chair, and the ELL Coordinator. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading, Nebraska football, and spending time with her husband, two children, and dog.