Roberta Scott believes in the value of language


Roberta Scott, right of the second to last row, with her senior class in Argentina

Jessica Adair, Staff Writer/Columnist

While most high school seniors are focused on college applications and prom, Roberta Scott, world language teacher, left the Bay Area to continue high school in a foreign country.

Although the idea of living in a foreign country can appear frightening to some, Scott used her language skills to her advantage and opened up doors she never knew existed.

“After I left the Bay Area, I went to Argentina and immediately started school there. I believed that finishing school there was important because total immersion into a culture is the best and most effective way to learn about it,” said Scott.

After gaining new skills and perspective in Argentina, Scott returned to the United States to attend the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she double majored in Spanish and French. But what Scott didn’t know was that her linguistics would change her career path forever.

“One day, the Levi Strauss Company showed up on campus and they were looking for bilingual students to bring into their company. My professor told me that I should interview for the job, but I was doubtful. I didn’t think that I had a chance because Levi’s was interviewing 200 students,” said Scott.

Despite her skepticism, Scott received the job.

“I kept progressing in the hiring process. I made it to the semifinals and they flew me out to San Francisco and I went to the headquarters. Finally, I had to do a phone interview where I talked with someone for 30 minutes in each language and I thought it went terribly. But a couple days later, they phoned me and told me that I got the job.”

After Scott finished her senior year at UCSB, she immediately flew to Europe to begin working for Levi Strauss. She remained the Business Analyst for the company and lived in Europe for three years. After that, she would continuously go back and forth between the U.S. and Europe for six weeks at a time.

“I eventually became a manager and my big role was to build the computer system for Levi’s in all the countries. I did this for almost 20 years,” said Scott.

Unfortunately, Scott was laid off by Levi’s after 22 years of work. Afterwards, Scott started her own business and continued with it for almost three years.

“I realized that I didn’t want to travel anymore and I just wanted to be normal and have a life back in the Bay Area. So I got my teaching credential for Spanish first and then French to teach students the value of language,” said Scott.

Scott emphasizes this value of language and conveys its importance to all of her students, “Languages got me into a field that I didn’t know existed. And I believe that the job I had is much more important now than back then because of the technology nowadays. So I encourage students to be bilingual and to go global because you future is better with a language.”

Students like Pareesa Darafshi, Carlmont junior and a student of Scott, also recognize the importance of world languages.

“It’s important to learn other languages because you can communicate with different types of people and understand their cultures. Languages can also allow you to qualify for interesting jobs that involve traveling the world,” said Darafshi.

Elise Dimick, Carlmont junior and another student of Scott, even considers a career in world languages because of teachers like Scott.

“I would love to be able to travel the world for work. Being bilingual or even trilingual is one of my goals for the future,” said Dimick.

Roberta Scott, right of the second to last row, with her senior class in Argentina
Roberta Scott, right of the second to last row, with her senior class in Argentina