Upon graduating from Ball State University in 1979, Julianne Cochran was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. She spent most of the next 20 years in the education and training field, teaching everyone from new recruits to experienced admirals.
“Spending so much time teaching, I was able to figure out what makes students tick, what keeps them engaged, and how to connect with them,” she says.
That experience helped her discern how to help students succeed when she began teaching French in Frederick County Public Schools in 1994. She has continued drawing on that knowledge since joining the R-MA faculty in 2012. For example, knowing that most of her students listen to music as they study, she now plays music during tests.
Ms. Cochran is licensed to teach both French and Spanish to grades K – 12 in Virginia, and also has experience with German and Latin. Her natural talent for languages is a benefit for her students; she has been asked many times if she is a native speaker of both Spanish and French due to her perfect accents.
Because Ms. Cochran’s upper-level Spanish classes include transfer students from many different schools, she begins each school year with a “massive review.” “I want us all to start at the same starting point,” she says.
Ms. Cochran believes in exploring new methods of teaching, to keep up-to-date and “fresh.” The evidence of those experiences is obvious upon walking into her classroom, where the desks are arranged in groups of three or four, forming cooperative groups in which students work together and compete against other groups. She changes these groups each quarter so that the students can experience learning from each other in different ways.
Ms. Cochran’s son Ian graduated from R-MA in 2012, and her daughter attended the Academy as well. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading as well as knitting or crocheting prayer shawls for her church.
- M.S. Ed., National University
- B.A., Ball State University
- Courses: Spanish I & II, Honors Spanish III, AP Spanish, French I
- R-MA Mentor, National Spanish Honor Society Faculty Advisor, National French Honor Society Faculty Co-Advisor