The OWL Leadership Team

DARCY ROGERS

Darcy is the Founder of Organic World Language (OWL), and began developing the methodology in 2003. Her work is based on second language acquisition research, student motivation, and best teaching practices. Focusing on creating a space for second language to be naturally acquired, she believes in placing emphasis on students developing language through movement, social interaction, play and 100% immersion. The key element is the importance of creating community in the classroom while putting the student in the center as the curriculum. Darcy received her Bachelors in Spanish and Education from Western Oregon University and her Masters in Spanish Literature from University of Northern Iowa, Tec de Monterrey en Querétaro, México. She has 14 years teaching experience and for the past three years has been presenting at national conferences and working with schools to implement OWL internationally.

ANNIE TYNER

Annie is the Managing Director for Organic World Language and has been a part of the OWL Community since it’s birth four years ago. She was introduced to the methodology after becoming Darcy’s student teacher while completing her Masters in the Arts of Teaching in 2009. Annie has traveled extensively in Spanish-speaking countries and learned her second language outside of the classroom with no verb charts, no translation, and no units in a textbook. As a result of her successful language learning experiences abroad, she has unwavering confidence in the Five Goals of OWL as exemplary guidelines for acquiring a second language. Over the past four years, Annie has taught at the middle, high and collegiate levels and is currently teaching adult conversational classes.

CALEB ZILMER

Caleb has played a vital role in the creation of OWL as the Lead Second Language Acquisition and OWL Methodology Researcher. Caleb began his teaching career in 2005 as an instructional assistant for an ESL program in Oregon after spending a year and a half in Ecuador. During his time in Ecuador, he learned the value of being multicultural and bilingual. It was that attitude and those experiences that made him want to go into teaching to share that open-mindedness with others – give others that opportunity.

When he started teaching Spanish and ESL, he did not accomplish those goals. Like many second language teachers, he entered the classroom with an ideal that he could not bring to fruition – students who could use the second language to communicate. Like so many other’s reality, he could imagine it but he did not know how to accomplish it, and eventually burned himself out trying. 

He left teaching altogether without so much as a look back – or so he thought. Two years later, Darcy called him and asked him if he would be interested in doing research on OWL, then known as OLA. Truth be told, he had already been thinking somewhat along those lines, and so he agreed. And so, after a year of research and theory, he went back into the classroom–and found a means of reaching the ideal he had dreamt of: students who could use the language to communicate in real life–and he has fun at the same time!

MONIKA RUPPE

Monika Ruppe is OWL’s current intern and she is having a fantastic time! She helps create flyers, postcards, and even the newsletter, along with helping out wherever she is needed. She studied her first year of college at Pacific Lutheran University and recently returned from studying abroad in China. She is an avid language learner and can often be found attempting to self-teach herself with whatever resources she can get a hold of. She is currently fluent in English and Spanish, and can stumble her way through Mandarin Chinese when necessary, but she is eager to change that. Her dream is to speak as many languages as Pope John Paul II, and become a translator and interpreter for the United Nations. She also loves to travel, having been to various parts of the world, including, but most certainly not limited to, Mexico, Finland, Italy, China, and Tibet, her favorite souvenir being translated copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She also loves to read and write, and hopes to one day become a published author.

EVAN PECK

Evan is the tech and media manager for OWL. Evan began work at a student-produced TV station called WAMS at Ashland Middle School, where Annie taught 7th and 8th grade Spanish. He was introduced to OWL in Annie’s classes and succeeded on moving on to Spanish II at the High School. Evan worked with Annie over the summer of 2013 on helping OWL create its first video media. As he continued to work with Annie, he joined the OWL team permanently. He manages the website and creates media such as promotional images and videos for OWL.