Location, Leadership, and Language Services – Changes at the International Welcome Center

The International Welcome Center has relocated to Rose Garden School in Smyrna under the leadership of new Program Manager Amy Perkins.

With a new location and new leader, the IWC aims to provide top level of service to CCSD teachers and leaders who support English Learners and international families.

The CCSD International Welcome Center (IWC), home to the Translation and Interpretation (T & I) Team and the International Student Services team, has a new location! The IWC has moved to Rose Garden School in Smyrna. Building updates are underway, including a fresh coat of paint inside, a new dedicated entry door for IWC visitors at the back of the building, and new signage.

The IWC also has a new leader. Amy Perkins, a veteran CCSD educator, took on the role of IWC Program Manager in June. She knows that the building updates will help the IWC better fulfill its role welcoming international students enrolling in CCSD middle and high schools: “We are excited about our new space and look forward to welcoming students and families back into the building. Our goal is for the IWC to function as a true welcome center – getting students, families, and schools everything they need to start our newcomers on a path to success.”

Just prior to her new role at the IWC, Ms. Perkins was an Assistant Principal at Osborne High School, but her history with Cobb County Schools began when she was a first-grade student at Mableton Elementary.  She attended Floyd Middle School, then then South Cobb High School. After graduating from the University of Georgia, she came back to CCSD and worked as a Special Education teacher, then as a social studies teacher, and as an academic coach before entering school leadership. Her deep understanding of the Cobb County community and wide range of experience serving as a teacher and leader across the district are invaluable in ensuring that the IWC fulfills its mission to provide local schools with the support and information they need to schedule students for appropriate courses and services.

The IWC also welcomed a new International Student Advisor to the International Student Services team in January of this year, Ms. Terri Vest. Ms. Vest is in her 25th year in education. She brings a breadth and depth of experience living and working in an international context and teaching language to the team. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, but has lived in Cajamarca, Perú, Santiago, Chile, and in the cities of Split and Opatija in Croatia. Before joining the IWC team, she served in various roles in the K-12 context, including AP Spanish teacher, ESOL Lead teacher, and ESOL teacher in Gordon and Whitfield County Schools, and served as a Visiting Instructor at Berry College.

Ms. Vest works in close collaboration with bilingual International Student Services Clerk, Ms. Yamilé Sardiñas. Ms. Sardiñas is a native of Miami, Florida, has been a Cobb County resident for over 15 years, has worked for the Cobb County School district for nearly a decade, and is a parent of CCSD students. Ms. Sardiñas holds a M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning – Student Services. Her professional and linguistic expertise and perspective as a CCSD parent are all instrumental in supporting our international students and families as they join the CCSD community. She and Ms. Vest are working to improve the Language Services provided to new international families so that schools have the best information possible as they determine how to set them on a trajectory that will help students adjust, learn English, and achieve their educational goals. One Team, One Goal: Student Success!


Elizabeth Webb, ESOL Supervisor
International Welcome Center

 

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