New education director arrives in Chicago

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Dottoressa Marina Lenza is the new director of the Education Office of the Italian Consulate of Chicago.

Lenza was born near l’Aquila in the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga, the largest mountainous area of Abruzzo. She graduated from La Sapienza, the University of Rome, and has held roles in the Ministry of Education as a teacher and didactic director. She has also worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the administration and coordination of Italian educational and cultural institutes, as well as with Italian training systems, particularly language and culture courses abroad.

Lenza’s goals are to enhance the promotion of both the Italian language and culture in close collaboration with organizations in the Chicago-area Italian-American community. She plans on accomplishing this by strengthening Italian programs ranging from elementary to high school; supporting best practices and professional development of educators; and assisting all teachers of Italian, including through the certification of teachers. In collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, she plans to involve schools in activities to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri.

Lenza arrived with her husband and children in January. She is fascinated by Chicago’s architecture and the beauty of the skyline, as well as by the “harmony between the various styles of modern and older buildings.” With the arrival of summer and the lifting of state restrictions, she is looking forward to exploring more of the city’s art and culture.

Benvenuta, Dottoressa Lenza!


About Lyn Scolaro

Professoressa Lyn Scolaro has been teaching Italian for 36 years, currently at Prospect High school and previously at Guerin High School). She holds a BA in Italian from Rosary College with a minor in Spanish, an MA from Roosevelt University and an MA from Aurora University. She is co-president of the American Association of Teachers of Italian-Midwest and K-12 vice president for AATI National, and serves on the Development Committee for the AP Italian Exam. Her AP Italian Class was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Frantoi Redoro in Grezzana (Verona) and her Italian 4 Honors class is working with the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago to create a visitor’s guide in Italian and in English. The JCCIA receent Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award in Education.

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