Uno, Due, Tre, Italiano!

Dr. Marianna De Tollis, our new Italian teacher!

Marianna De Tollis

Dr. Marianna De Tollis, our new Italian teacher!

Annael Toledano, Assistant Editor

Did you know that West Boca now offers Italian 1, 2, and 3? These courses are an awesome addition to our school’s provided options! Dr. Marianna De Tollis is our newest Italian teacher and she has much to offer our students. During our interview Dr. Tollis told us the following: 


  1. Where are you from? I am from Rome, Italy. 
  2. Where did you go to school? I received my bachelor’s degree in Rome at the University of Roma Tre. This is where I studied Languages and Foreign Literature (English and French). In 2008, I came to Florida to pursue my Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature (Italian and Caribbean Literature) at Florida Atlantic University. At FAU, I ended up completing a second Masters in Teaching Spanish and a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies (Italian and Spanish Literatures).
  3. What is your favorite thing about teaching Italian? My favorite thing about Italian is not only teaching my language, but the beautiful Italian culture that comes along with it. In my classroom, I love that most of my students are filled with admiration towards Italy- the Italian language, food, and culture.   
  4. What is a fun fact about you? I was a professional dancer for 18 years (modern and jazz dancer) in Rome, Italy, and then I completely changed my mind and decided that I wanted to go to college and pursue a Doctorate career. I love to travel around the world. I love to teach. I adore cats (I currently have 4 cats that I have adopted). I can’t live without french fries.
  5. What levels of Italian do you teach? At West Boca Community High School I teach Italian 1, Italian 2, and Italian 3 Honors.
  6. What does each course of Italian entail? In every course I teach, I try to combine the Italian language and grammar with culture, music, and food. I try to recreate a friendly environment in which students learn the language structures and vocabulary in a fun way and are also able to reproduce it in a real-life context — In the classroom, I always try to recreate real-life situations in which students enjoy practicing the language and learn Italian in a fun, stress-free environment.
  7. How long have you been teaching Italian? I have been teaching Italian (and Spanish) for 12 years at Florida Atlantic University and for Multilingual Society, a non-profit association, in which I also served as a World Languages Coordinator. 
  8. Goals for your Italian courses? The goal of my classes is to create a nice and comfortable environment for my students to learn Italian and love its multi-flavored culture. 
  9. What do you think is the main differentiation between American and Italian Culture? There are many differences between the American and Italian Culture. Two things I see a major difference in is the family life and food. Food is a ritual for Italians, the preparation and the consumption is equally important. For example, the “cornetto and coffee” is made fast but intense. All aspects are crucial to the outcome. In the Italian culture “siestas” is a huge part on a daily basis. Italians enjoy spending time with friends and family. They will continuously make time for it no matter previous engagements. There is a never ending list of additional differences but you will have to take my classes to find out more. 
  10. Why should students take your classes? Students should take my Italian class at West Boca High to open their eyes, mind, and heart to the wonderful world of Italy with its beautiful language, culture, and panoramas. Students will also be able to explore if they would like to come on the study abroad program in collaboration with Mr. Volpe and Logger’s Run Middle School.