Julie von Kamecke, well known in the Midcoast as a teacher of Russian and Spanish, was unanimously elected last month as chairman of the board of directors of Rockland’s language school, Penobscot School.

“Having served on the board for the last two years with Julie, I feel confident that she’s the right person to take over this leadership position,” said her predecessor as board chairman, Tom DeMarco. “She has so much energy and style that you can feel her presence across a room. She gets things done and makes everything feel like fun.”

Von Kamecke has been immersed in language for decades. She started speaking Spanish while in kindergarten and continued her Spanish for another decade. In college, she majored in Russian language and literature at the State University of New York Oswego. While studying in Moscow in the early 90s, von Kamecke also began teaching English as a second language.

“It was a trial by fire — no curriculum, no text, not even a copier,” von Kamecke said. “When I returned to the states I continued to teach ESL until 1996 when I began teaching Russian to a little 5-year-old girl.”

She began teaching at Penobscot School in 1996, and shortly after implemented the Spanish program at Rockport Elementary School. She has spoken many times at conferences hosted by the Foreign Language Association of Maine and is the Maine representative of the National Network for Early Language Learning.

Von Kamecke lives in Union with her husband and three dogs. Her hobbies include knitting and crochet, which she has turned into an online business. She continues to read Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” and at last count had read it eight times.

Penobscot School is located at 28 Gay St. in Rockland. During the summer months it offers intensive immersion English courses for adults, while the rest of the year it offers a mix of language and culture courses in Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, German, Chinese and Japanese. It complements those offerings with Just for Kids programs, cooking classes, language lunches and potluck dinners. For more information, go to languagelearning.org or call Patti Luchetti, executive director, at 594-1084.