Elea Kaptain

In the future, Elea Kaptain hopes to become a language teacher, and later a principal. When she isn’t studying, Elea enjoys talking to loved ones, cooking new recipes, doing yoga, embroidering, and consignment shopping, reading, and writing.

Get to know Elea

  • Majors: English education and Spanish; endorsement in k-12 Spanish education
  • Class: Senior
  • Hometown: Johnston, Iowa (Polk County)
  • Career goal: Language teacher, and later a principal
  • Clubs/activities: Orchesis II, CHS Honors Program, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, Writing and Media Center
  • Favorite places on campus: The Lagomarcino cafe and courtyard, and Parks Library at night
  • Most influential ISU mentors: Michelle Tremmel, Julia Dominguez, Linda Shenk, Brandon Sams, Heidi Doellinger
  • Favorite classes: EDUC 204, Social Foundations of Education in the United States: Secondary; ENGL 420, History of the English Language
  • Why Iowa State: Loved the positive change the School of Education brings to the world and education field

Elea Kaptain harnesses wide array of experiences, impacts students around the world

Elea Kaptain knew in high school that she wanted to become a teacher, but because she had a wide variety of interests, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to teach. One thing that was always undeniable was her love for words and reading — which led her to decide she wanted to become a language teacher.

Elea is double majoring in English education and Spanish, with an endorsement in K-12 Spanish education. With this degree, she is qualified to teach both English and Spanish at the middle or high school level.

Elea’s mother was a Spanish teacher, so she grew up very familiar with the language. That, coupled with her gap year spent in the Dominican Republic, fueled her desire to add Spanish as a double major.

In the Dominican Republic, Elea did mission work, and student taught at Doulos Discovery School in a bilingual first-grade classroom. She described the experience as life changing.

“I wanted to be able to work with populations that speak Spanish—just different populations with more diverse language backgrounds,” Elea said. “So I thought Spanish would be a good place to start.”

At Iowa State University, she began using her ever-growing expertise in a multitude of positions, including volunteer work at after school programs, freelance work and copy editing, student teaching, and working at the Writing and Media Center as a communications consultant.

“[At the Writing and Media center] I definitely got to see up close and personal the individual experiences of multilingual students,” she said. “It opened my eyes to a broader world of communication, and it opened my perspective to value many other kinds of communication, beyond just what we do here in the states.”

After graduating, Elea plans to further broaden her perspective by moving to the Netherlands and learning the Dutch language. There, she hopes to find a position teaching English and eventually become a school principal.

“I would really love to become an administrator or a principal someday, because I want to effect change at an influential level,” Elea said. “Teachers have a ton of influence — they can change lives in the classroom every day, and I want to teach because of that reason. But I also want to become an administrator because I want to help teachers realize they have that influence, and help train teachers to use that influence for good.”

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