Sennette steps up as World Languages Department head

He ‘epitomizes the perfect teacher,’ students say


Daniel Kyte-Zable, Contributing Writer

After 10 years of developing the school’s language program to include oral exams, December projects, and opportunities with the Global Exchange Program, Upper School (US) French Teacher Cecile Roucher-Greenberg is stepping down as head of the World Languages Department and instead will serve as a senior grade co-dean. US French Teacher James Sennette will take the position this fall.

“It went by so fast,” Ms. Roucher-Greenberg said. “The WLD is in a much stronger place than it was when I arrived thanks to the teamwork, the respectful collaboration, and the selfless investment of some incredible language colleagues.”

Before arriving at the school in 2019, Mr. Sennette taught French and English across the United States and France for 15 years and served as Boston College High School’s (BCHS) Assistant Director of Global Education for two years. His choice to accept a teaching role at BB&N was spurred by a desire for more student interaction and to share his love of language learning, he said.

Ms. Roucher-Greenberg said she was excited to see him take on this new role. “Mr. Sennette has all the personal and professional qualities to be a good Department Head. He is always looking for state of the art ways to teach, new books or projects to bring to his classroom, [and] interesting opinions and ideas to discuss with language colleagues.”

In addition to teaching French I, III and IV, Mr. Sennette leads and participates in a number of the school’s programs, including the French Global Education Ambassador Program, Round Square, and Girls’ Junior Varsity (JV) Lacrosse. He hopes to continue with these activities, he said, provided he has the time.

US Science Teacher Michael Chapman worked with Mr. Sennette at BB&N and BCHS and said Mr. Sennette adapts well to all responsibilities. “In each setting, he has always been a compassionate and understanding educator. He is extremely thoughtful and always has great ideas to share.”

US Math and Computer Science Teacher Hannah Saris, who coaches lacrosse with Mr. Sennette, highlighted his collaborative spirit.

“Mr. Sennette has a way of bringing people together and making everyone feel heard,” she said.

JV Lacrosse Player Jemma Harvey ’24 appreciated his leadership skills on the lacrosse field, she said.

“He was always supportive and understanding in times of frustration,” she said. “Even though he was not experienced in girls’ lacrosse, he always did his best to help us improve and understand.”

Mr. Sennette is a great role model in and out of the classroom, Augustus Hawk ’22, who had him as a teacher for French III and French IV, said.

“He epitomizes the perfect teacher: encouraging, helpful, kind, committed, creative, and easy to learn from,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have Mr. Sennette for two years and have nothing but the highest respect and admiration for him.”

Mr. Sennette hopes to provide students with opportunities to use their language skills outside of the classroom, he said.

“I want to ensure that students have real-world applications for language learning and can use their chosen languages in contexts that make sense,” he said. “I also want to continue to work within our department and [with US DEI Practitioner Maria] Graciela Alcid as we establish a more globalized curriculum, where students have access to multiple perspectives, including people of color, the LGBT community, women, as well as the experiences of other often marginalized and silenced voices.”